When Should I Settle My Accident Case?

If you are a resident in Kentucky and have been in an accident, you may be wondering when you should settle your case. It sounds like an easy question, but it's fairly complex. You have to recover or reach your maximum medical improvement before all medical and employment records are ordered. This is a step your attorney’s office will do. Once the records are received, a settlement brochure is prepared and then sent to the at-fault insurance company. If you can reach an agreement as to what your injuries and pain and suffering is worth, you can settle the case.

Related: Hiring An Attorney For Your Kentucky Accident Case

Computer programs
Almost all insurance companies now use a computer program to determine the value of your personal injury claim (including your pain and suffering). The purpose of this program is to legitimize the lower offers that the insurance company wants to make. There are over 10,000 items that can be entered into these programs in a single personal injury case. The program will consider your medical record and other items. Your attorney can make sure that all items are considered and get you the best offer possible. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for you to complete all medical treatments.

Negotiation with insurance company
Unfortunately, trying to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company can be a waste of time, frustrating and futile if your attorney is not familiar with the claims settlement process. More and more insurance companies are taking a very aggressive stance towards settling accident claims. This is happening more often than it did in the past. Certain insurance carriers have a reputation for making unreasonably low settlement offers, even if the injuries are severe. Many insurance companies are using computer programs to validate these offers. This takes the settlement power away from the claims adjuster and systematizes it. In most cases, a fair settlement can still be negotiated. If this cannot be accomplished, your option is to litigate your case by filing a lawsuit. Don’t let this process wear you down. It is the goal of some insurance companies to wear the victim down so much that they settle their case for a smaller amount out of frustration. This ultimately saves the insurance company money.

Related: Kentucky Reverse Bad Faith In Insurance Claims

Going to court
Once there is an offer, a decision is made as to whether to accept the offer. This is your decision which will be made by consulting with your attorney. If a settlement is accepted, the case is over. It needs to be noted that if the case is settled it cannot be reopened at a later date. If a settlement is not reached, a lawsuit is filed and you will go to court for a determination as to how much you should receive. Going to court is a daunting concept, but your attorney will assist you and do most of the work. Don’t let the potential of going to court cause you to settle for something less than what is fair.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky