A personal injury claim is when an injured victim pursues compensation from the at-fault party via their insurance company. It is not a lawsuit, but it can end up as one if the negotiations fail.
Personal injury settlements include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more- so there can sometimes be a lot of money on the table.
It can feel daunting when things go wrong, but it helps to know the next steps when personal injury settlement talks fail and how to counter the first car insurance offer.
Do Settlement Negotiations Fail Often?
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. However, it doesn't always happen easily.
Although the majority of negotiations do not fail, it can be a battle to reach an agreement.
Sometimes, there can be a dispute over medical records, liability, maximum medical improvement, and the types of medical treatment received- all of which can lead to delays and obstacles in a settlement.
Other reasons they fail include:
Refusal to accept liability
Disputes over evidence
An improperly trained claims adjuster
Lowball settlement offers
What Can People Do If Their Personal Injury Claim Settlement Negotiations Fail?
There are several steps injury victims can take to save settlement talks and try to continue negotiations- but they should also be prepared for what comes next.
Here are some of the actions to take when talks fail and the next steps if it still doesn't work.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Negotiating a settlement is difficult, especially without expert guidance. If negotiations are failing and there is not yet a personal injury attorneys in Nashville TN acting on the victim's behalf, that is the time to bring someone in.
Unfortunately, many insurance company adjusters take a personal injury claim less seriously if there is no lawyer involved. It is wrong, but it happens.
When settlement talks fail or stop progressing, victims must speak to a legal professional to get the advice, guidance, and support they need.
They can pinpoint what has gone wrong and how to get it back on track. At the very least, the act of hiring a lawyer makes the insurance company pay attention and approach the case with the attention it deserves.
Discuss Willingness to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An injured person and their legal representation must make it clear that they are willing and ready to take the claim further if necessary. This should be made clear in the original demand letter, but the point should be repeated and pressed if the company fails to negotiate a settlement offer.
Generally speaking, no insurance company wants to face a lawsuit. Usually, an adjuster will do almost anything to avoid court- for several reasons.
Lawsuits mean lawyers. Lawyers bring attention to the company and can upset their clients. It could lose them business, look bad for them, and end up costing them more than if they just settled.
Having a lawyer send this communication is an effective way to show how serious a victim is. It shows they have hired legal representation and are making the necessary preparations to take their case to court.
Deal with the Insurance Company Supervisor if Possible
All companies have a hierarchy- including the insurance industry. In most cases, the claims adjuster assigned to a case is just one person, although they represent the ideals and views of the company.
That said, if a claimant feels the person is never going to agree to a fair settlement and is wrong in their actions, they can ask that the insurance company lawyer connect them with a supervisor.
Sometimes, the simple request to speak to a claims adjuster's supervisor is enough to encourage them to settle for fair compensation and end the process. Other times, it is not, but it could get the victim a chance to speak to someone with more authority.
The supervisor can review the claim and negotiation proceeding so far and then make their own decision.
If the supervisor refuses, it is a good idea to get their name and send a letter asking for a new claims adjuster to be assigned to the case.
Prepare to Go to Court
If all else fails, the final resort is to file a lawsuit and go to a personal injury trial. This is not the ideal outcome for either party, as it is lengthy, costly, and often complex. However, if negotiations cannot find a way to an agreeable solution for both parties, a victim has no other choice if they want to recover damages.
When personal injury claims go to court, the evidence that was used to sway negotiations goes in front of a judge. Arguments are made, the litigation process is followed- and it is up to the judge to decide on the amount of compensation awarded.
Ways to Avoid a Failed Settlement Negotiation
Here are a few other things to consider when trying to avoid having a personal injury settlement negotiation fail.
It often pays to keep in constant contact with the insurance company to ask about settlement offers and when to expect an outcome. By showing persistent dedication to the settlement, the insurance adjuster knows a claimant is serious and will not just go away or go down without a fight.
This alone could be enough to incentivize them to settle before it ends up in court.
Mention bad faith
Both parties in personal injury cases are obligated by law to negotiate in good faith. Failing to do so can create serious trouble for insurance adjusters- and cost them a lot of money. When victims bring up the words bad faith in settlement negotiations, it usually gets the insurance company's attention and could be enough to get things back on track.
Work with Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys from the Very Beginning
The earlier a person has an experienced and knowledgeable legal team working for them on how to win your personal injury claim, the higher their chance of securing a settlement offer. Don't delay seeking legal advice and representation.
Work with Personal Injury Lawyers who Go to War for Nash Accident Victims and Their Settlements
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is a leading authority in personal injury settlement negotiations in Nashville and the first choice for victims who need dedication and relentless attention to detail on their side. Any person with concerns that their negotiations may fail should contact a personal injury attorney at Schuerger Shunnarah to secure the best legal support for their case. Arrange a free consultation today.