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Thurman & Flanagin Attorneys At Law

What Happens If Unable Reach A Settlement Agreement With The Insurance Company?

In this article, you will learn:

  • Options available if you cannot settle with the insurance company
  • When to hire an attorney after an injury
  • The information necessary to get started on a case

If a settlement with the insurance company cannot be reached, then our firm’s attorneys will file a lawsuit. The initial stages of litigation are called discovery. It starts with written questions back and forth between the at fault party’s attorney who works for their insurance company and us. After the written questions are answered and exchanged, the normal next step in the process is to take depositions. I want to sit down and ask the party that caused the accident more pointed questions than asked in written form, may go over some of that party’s answers to discovery and want to get a feel for the type of witness the at fault party will make. There may be other witnesses that might need to be deposed, depending on the issues being fought over. Often, the insurance company will want to sit down and question my client, and my job is to have my client prepared, have them refreshed on all the facts of what happened the day of the accident and make sure they remember their initial symptoms, injuries suffered and treatment history. Make no mistake, the insurance defense attorney is also evaluating whether they think my client will make a compelling witness in the courtroom. From that point, we will get a date to try the case. Now, just because a lawsuit ends up being filed, it does not mean that the case will go to a jury trial. In fact, in my experience 90% plus of all cases filed as personal injury cases end up still settling prior to trial. Our firm has had great success recovering large sums of money after we get into litigation. Normally deposing the party that caused the accident helps to clarify their actions or omissions and reminds everyone that but for that party’s negligence, our client wouldn’t have gotten injured, and this lawsuit would never have been filed. Sometimes, that simple reminder has helped cases get settled.

When the insurance defense attorney sits down with my client and evaluates my client’s credibility deposing him or her, that has helped cases get settled. Then there are a lot of tools available that our firm uses, as an alternative to jury trials to help get our clients cases settled and the money they deserve. We have used mediation before going to trial, which is usually non-binding. Both sides agree to sit down with a professionally trained mediator to try to work out a settlement that we weren’t able to work out before litigation. Again, just because a lawsuit has been filed doesn’t mean that your case is bad. It may take longer to get the results, but our firm has found that the results can be better at times because there’s more clarity about everybody’s actions, damages, injuries, and the value of our client’s case. The other alternative dispute resolution that we have used is arbitration. This is basically when both sides to use a private professional attorney as the judge to decide the outcome. We have used arbitration where we have agreed with the other side to do both binding and non-binding arbitrations.

I have done high-low arbitrations where we agree that we’re going to go and try this case to a private judge who is not really a judge, rather a lawyer with experience in injury cases that acts as a judge. Both sides agree we’re going to let this person decide what they think the value of the case is and rule. Still, we’re going to set a maximum and a minimum going into that, which can provide my client with a lot of comfort in that they know “there worst outcome going in” and it provides the insurance company security knowing “the most they are going to pay going in.” Every case is unique, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all. But, again, that’s why you want to have somebody with genuine experience in settling cases after litigation has been filed and a good understanding of the litigation process with an understanding and experience with all the different ways a case can be resolved once litigation has started. In the end, it is important to hire a lawyer that has stood before a jury and gotten results. While you don’t want an attorney whose ego is wrapped up in trying all their cases to juries as that normally is not in your best interest as most clients get the best results through some settlement process either prior to or during litigation, but I have stood in front of juries on behalf of my injured clients and gotten results as have the attorneys in my firm. The other side must know your attorney can go to trial and get you the money to which you are entitled.

The Point At Which An Injured Person Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

I have changed my views on this over the years. Early in my career people were able to resolve their property damage claims without my assistance and even resolve some injury claims, but I now believe that the quicker you hire an attorney who knows how to deal with the new breed of insurance adjuster and has experience in personal injury claims, the better. The days of a level playing field between the injured party and the insurance industry while never truly equal, are far worse today. I’m not anti-all insurance, as we need it, but I believe that insurance adjusters in the last 15 years have changed tactics and are not conducting themselves like the insurance adjusters I dealt with twenty plus years ago when I got started. The goal of trying to put somebody back where they belong and be a good neighbor sound good, but the actions I have seen do not match the slogans. In fact, I am seeing insurance companies not even doing right by their own insureds and it just seems like early representation is critical. Today, the goal is to “pay as little as you can” and that is the mentality with the new breed of insurance adjusters. So yes, if you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to hire a personal injury attorney with experience as quickly as possible, but only after you’ve been informed as to that attorney’s abilities and reputation.

Don’t just hire the loudest guy on television shouting at you or the slickest TV ad that you’ve seen by an attorney. There are too many attorneys that are exceptionally good at making commercials and hiring good advertisement agencies but aren’t good at getting results the best results for each client. Instead, those firms churn the files and make their money by volume. I have always prided myself and built our firm on getting good results and helping my client understand the process from start to finish. When you hire my firm, the lawyer you meet with at your initial meeting or talk to over the phone, that’s the lawyer you’ll be dealing with at the end of the case. I’m not an attorney who built our firm by running flashy ads and then farms you out to an associate with minimal experience. That goes on with many mass advertisers you see out there. At our firm, you get the experience from start to finish and the sooner you get one of us on working for you the better.

The Information Needed To Get Started on A Case After An Accident

I want to know the date the accident happened, the location of the accident, particularly the county that it happened in, so that we can track down the accident report immediately. If they can provide me with any information regarding the at fault’s insurance company or their own insurance policy that they may have on their own vehicle or if they were driving or riding in somebody else’s car, that owner’s insurance, can be a big help. From day one, our firm strives to look at each potential source of recovery to put the most money in our client’s pocket. Obviously, we would want to know a brief overview of the potential client’s injuries even though we understand treatment may have just started. Then, of course, I want to know what their symptoms are, and I want to see if they’ve sought any medical treatment, who they have sought it with, and what the provider explained to them was going to be the course of action. I always tell people that the biggest issue is just getting in and seeing me or another experienced attorney at our firm or let us come to you, whether you are homebound or in the hospital or rehabilitation facility, we meet our client’s where they are if needed. We don’t want to overload an injured person with a lot of stuff for them to get together before they come to see us, rather getting our firm started advocating for them is more important than anything else.

Once a meeting is set, they will either meet me, or if they spoke to another attorney at our firm, then they will meet with them. Sometimes they might meet two attorneys at once depending on the facts gathered prior to the meeting. Again, we provide personal service, and the attorney or attorneys, as we do work as a team, that you meet from day one will be the attorney with you all the way through the process. Our goal is to make the process, even though we understand it can be stressful, to be as stressless on our clients and let us take on the battle with the insurance adjuster while our clients seek to recover from their injuries. We will provide our clients with various options for getting any information that they may have but didn’t bring to the initial meeting back to us. Our goal is to make the process smooth and as worry-free as possible. Our firm takes on the burden of gathering the majority of the information we need. We don’t think that an injured person has to have anything in their hand when they walk into that initial meeting, or we go to their house to meet or hospital room, as we have done many times. Obviously, if they’ve received a letter from the insurance company, if they have information on hand bring it. In most cases, at the scene of the accident the investigating officer requires parties to exchange information, if they have it handy then of course they can bring it back. The only information we really need to get started is to meet with the client, find out how and where the accident happened, determine who is at fault, get an idea of our potential new client’s injuries and treatment and then we walk them through the process from start to finish.

For more information on Failure To Reach A Settlement With Insurance, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (866) 253-2226 today.

Thurman & Flanagin Attorneys At Law

You Deserve The Best, Get Help Today
(866) 253-2226