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A key sign that a McAllen and Harlingen resident needs to contact an attorney after a personal injury accident is when the defendant or their insurance company offers the accident victim a settlement amount as a remedy for the accident. Insurance companies have lawyers on staff who are dedicated to protecting their employers' interests at all costs. Those costs are usually incurred at the expense of accident victims. A settlement offer is designed to provide an accident victim with some sort of compensation that is usually but not always money. When a settlement agreement is signed, the accident victim is typically not able to pursue any other legal action concerning the case. Insurance companies usually offer settlement agreements to limit the amount of money that they will likely have to pay if strong cases go to court. Many accident victims who often have mounting medical bills and personal expenses agree to settle their cases outside of the courts because they want to get paid quickly. The court system encourages this form of litigation because many courts are over loaded with legal cases, and settlement actions reduce the number of lawsuits that come to trial. Here are some ways that accident victims and their legal teams negotiate favorable settlements.

Assess the Strength of the Personal Injury Case

When an informal settlement offer is given, there is an indication that the personal injury case has enough merit to win in a court case. However, the decision to take the matter to court requires an extensive review of the case's strengths and weaknesses. This can best be handled by lawyers who have conducted reviews of similar cases and who understand the common possible outcomes. For instance, lawyers like those found at Doan Law Firm will review all case evidence in conjunction with descriptive statements from clients about the incidents. They can determine how insurance companies and courts will look at the case. For instance, a client who presents evidence that indicates that they are partially responsible for their own injuries could have a weaker case in court. Many lawyers have working relationships with insurance company lawyers and other related professionals. Subsequently, they might gain knowledge of evidence from the opposing side that can affect their evaluation of the case.

Review Prior Outcomes of Similar Cases

Seasoned lawyers have the advantage of knowledge of similar case law awards that can help them to advise their clients about settlement options. When a lawyer has not reviewed a similar case personally, he or she often knows senior lawyers in their firm who have the specific experience to guide the assessment. For instance, a previous court ruling of a similar case could have ruled that the personal injury victim was over 50 percent responsible for their own accident. These types of cases get dismissed and accident victims receive nothing for their injuries. In such cases, a lawyer might advise his or her clients to take a settlement offer. Personal injury lawyers also interact with most major insurance company representatives regularly, and they likely understand the tactics of the specific insurance companies that are involved with their clients' personal injury cases. Lawyers advise clients to either agree to the terms and conditions of preliminary settlement plans, to be prepared to accept partial settlement agreement terms or plan for drawn out battles in the courts. Each of these options impact award amounts for clients.

Do the Math

Personal injury clients and their legal teams also conduct financial analysis relating to prospective cases. A lawyer will often have their client to list all of their expenses related to their accident. This includes everything from medical examination costs, loss of income from missed work and funds used to hire people to take care of household chores during their clients' recovery periods. The expenses also include the contingency lawyer fees that are often a percentage of the total award amount and an estimate of the taxes that will be taken out when awards are paid. Most experienced lawyers are able to give clients an estimation of the dollar value of their cases after reviewing evidence, and they often have access to automated tools like personal injury settlement calculators to help make sure that all factors are considered in the final assessment. While some factors of a personal injury case are easy to calculate, it is often very difficult to assign a dollar amount to other factors such as the emotional trauma, pain and suffering that clients experience due to short term and permanent disabilities. However, insurance companies use damages formulas to support their settlement award offers, and reputable lawyers can help clients to understand the justifications for settlement award amounts. The estimated award amount less the associated fees is the projected amount that clients can expect to keep. Subsequently, clients and their teams can decide whether they want to renegotiate higher settlement award amounts or present lawsuits in court that reflect higher award amounts.

Conclusion

Settling personal injury cases can be an ideal legal solution when all of the involved parties can come to equitable terms concerning compensation. In some cases, personal injury victims are better off settling their cases than risking the loss of their law suits altogether at trials. For example, a personal injury victim who can be found to be at least partially responsible for their own injuries might opt to settle outside of a court room. The advice of legal professionals like Doan Law Firm can help accident victims make educated decisions about settling their personal injury cases.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.

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