Demands and Settlement
Most car accident cases get resolved without having to go to Court. This is especially true with experienced attorneys who know how to present a case to the insurance company. This process is usually started by what is called a demand. This is when your lawyer will write a letter to the insurance summarizing your injuries. Attached to this letter will be your medical bills and any other documents that can be used to prove your injuries, harms, and losses.
The insurance company then takes about 30 days to review the documents sent by the attorney. It will then make an offer to settle your case. Then in most cases, the insurance adjuster and attorney will go back and forth until a figure is reached. At that point, the attorney will then bring the offer to the client to decide whether to accept it or go to Court.How Long Does a Settlement Take?
One of the common questions we get is when our clients wonder when their case will be resolved. That’s usually a byproduct of the fact that doing legal work does take time. Each step in the process is important. Like building a house, certain things must happen in order to ensure that everything is done properly. You can’t build the walls before you pour the foundation.
Before even thinking about sending a demand to an insurance company, there are many steps that need to happen. Here are a few of the factors:
- Healing Time: The biggest part of most cases is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering encompasses not only how bad you were hurt, but also how long it took for you to recover. This means that we can’t begin settlement discussions until you heal, or until the doctor establishes that your injuries are permanent. To do it any sooner would risk not getting the compensation you deserve;
- Medical Bills: Part of any settlement is reimbursement of your medical bills. However, figuring out how much of the medical bills the insurance company is responsible for can be quite difficult. It’s often not until your health insurance processes your bills that we know how much the insurance company will owe you. Since it can sometimes take many months for health insurance companies to process payments, it may delay your case.
- Which Insurance Company: Many people are surprised to find that certain insurance companies are easier to deal with than others. This can affect not only the timeline of your case, but also whether we expect to receive a reasonable offer.
Many people wrongly think that the lawyer is the one who gets to make all decisions about your case. While it’s true that lawyers will make many decisions, the ultimate decision of whether to accept or reject a settlement offer s entirely up to the client. Any lawyer who tries to make the decision for you is doing you a disservice.
That’s not to say that a lawyer cannot make a recommendation. At Marcotte Law Firm, we always counsel our clients so that they can make the best decision possible. We go over the pros and cons of accepting an offer, and we explain what the path forward would look like if you wanted to go to court. Most importantly, whether we think you’re making a good decision or a bad one, we respect that it’s your decision and will represent you zealously no matter what you decide.
If you were injured in a car accident, you need an attorney who knows the process not only of going to court, but also the best way to effectively deal with the insurance company. At Marcotte Law Firm, we have decades of experience doing just that.
Please call the car accident lawyers at Marcotte Law Firm for a free consultation.