Who Pays the Bills? Detailed overview of how your personal injury settlements are distributed. A…
Negotiation & Settlement: What You Need To Know
When your claim goes into negotiations, you need to trust us to do the best possible job for you. We are familiar with insurance company tactics.
It is common for an insurance company to make ridiculously low initial offers. Low offers just tend to enrage or offend clients. Making low offers is a known tactic of insurance adjusters designed to make you angry, frustrated and consider dropping your case or firing us. Because this insurance tactic tends to aggravate our clients, it is our policy to relay only the final offer – the offer wherein the adjuster says “take it or file a lawsuit.” Any offers prior to the “final offer” are meaningless because we know there will be more offers to consider.
We will advise you if, in our professional opinion, we get a good offer or not. It is always up to you whether an offer is acceptable. While we cannot make the decision for you, we may give you a professional recommendation based on our professional opinion and experience.
Negotiations take – on average – 60-90 days to reach the maximum value the insurance company will offer. If complications or issues necessitating additional investigation are uncovered, the process can take longer. Negotiating a satisfactory injury claim requires strategy and patience. If counter-offers and demands for payment are presented in quick succession, the insurance company will assume you are desperate and in need of financial assistance. The insurance company will continue to keep the offers low in the belief that you will settle the claim quickly out of necessity. They will leverage your perceived need for a quick settlement.
Counter-offers and demands for payment are most effective when we are afforded the time to re-evaluate the merits of the claim between negotiations. This tactic shows the insurance company that you are willing to wait for the optimum settlement and removes their ability to exercise any time-perceived leverage against you.
You should know that settlements are final. Whether it is by negotiations or by a jury verdict, once it is accepted, it is final. That means if you still have pain or require future medical treatment for your accident related injuries, the insurance company is not obligated to make any further payments. It is up to you to set aside a portion of your settlement proceeds for future medical bills, if you so desire.
After a case settles, it typically takes insurance companies about a week to send the Release and the settlement check to us. The settlement check will be made payable to both you and the law firm. We will have you endorse the check, then it will be placed into a Trust Account which is regulated by the Washington Bar Association. Usually, you will receive your portion of the settlement check five (5) business days after it has been deposited. Along with your check, you will get a Receipt and Disbursements form that gives a full accounting of where all the settlement money has been distributed.
Occasionally, a portion of the settlement funds are held back in the trust account pending final determination of balances due and owing for insurance subrogation interests and unpaid healthcare bills. This hold back is performed to make sure that other interested parties (like unpaid medical providers) do not pursue you for payment after the settlement has been completed. Learn more in our free guidebook.
Your personal injury is just that – personal. And although your personal injury case has a number, you will be treated like a person throughout the process. By choosing the Law Offices of Steven D. Weier to handle your personal injury case, you are choosing the attention that is vital to your personal recovery, and the professional know-how that is crucial to your best possible settlement. Contact us today for your no-obligation consultation.