Most people think of going to trial when they pursue a personal injury claim, but the reality is that very few claims have to proceed to this point. Instead, Odessa personal injury attorneys are able usually to negotiate a settlement from the liable party, avoiding lengthy and expensive trial litigation in the process.
This process will usually be fairly similar for all claims even as the individual case details vary. Here is how a personal injury attorney will typically engage a claim in order to obtain their client the maximum possible amount of compensation for their injury costs:
The Case Is Investigated, and a Demand Letter Is Sent
When a claim begins, the injured party and their attorney must first gather as many details as they can about the circumstances of both the inciting accident and the injury itself. This not only helps to strengthen the claim but also to anticipate any potential defenses or counter-arguments the opposing party may have.
A representing attorney will start by gathering evidence for the accident using your statements, witness statements, a police report (if available), and anything else available like photos or physical evidence. They will also thoroughly document the extent of your injury, including medical costs and the projected costs of future care.
After the investigation period has amassed a satisfactory amount of evidence, the attorney will file a demand letter with the party responsible for repaying the costs of the injury — usually an insurer. This demand letter will lay out the details of the claim and request the maximum amount of available compensation given the costs of the injury, which includes indirect costs like loss of income and emotional distress.
The Defending Party Responds
Most insurers want to avoid making a payout for every claim, let alone giving the maximum amount of compensation possible. They will likely respond to the demand letter with discrepancies regarding the claim’s circumstances or the amount requested.
The injury lawyer will respond in turn to clarify their client’s position and indicate the strength of their case.
Once the insurer (or any other defending party) is convinced that the claim is legitimate and could constitute a viable lawsuit, they will make an initial offer. Since their aim is to pay out as little as possible, this offer will likely be low. Their hope is that you want to settle quickly.
Counter-Offers and Negotiation
It is in most client’s interest to refuse a low first offer and counter with an offer closer to their initial request. They may also end up responding to additional discrepancies the opposing party raises that supposedly weaken the case.
In this way, both parties will respond back and forth in order to come to a mutual settlement agreement. If such an agreement cannot be reached, the injured party has the option to proceed to mediation, arbitration or a full-scale lawsuit. The action taken will correspond with the nature of the dispute and how big of a gap exists between the expected settlement and what was offered by the defending party.
If you wish to have an Odessa personal injury attorney represent you during such a process and fight for your right to fair compensation for your claim, contact Robert White today. Use the number listed above or the convenient contact form to the right, and you will receive a free evaluation for your case along with possible instructions on what action to take next.