Settling Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer
By Administrator | | Personal Injury
Many people think that to obtain compensation after an accident, a person must file a lawsuit and go to trial. This, however, isn’t true. In fact, most personal injury claims are resolved via settlement proceedings, in which the injured party and the negligent party or his or her insurer reach an out-of-court agreement, where, in exchange for a certain sum of money (paid by the negligent party’s insurance provider), the injured party agrees to release that person from further liability for the accident. While most people are encouraged to work with an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney when attempting to settle a personal injury claim, cases that involve only minor injuries or less serious property damage can often be handled by claimants on their own.
The Settlement Process
Technically, the settlement process can occur at any time in a legal proceeding, even after two parties decide to go to trial. Most, however, are reached after a demand for settlement is filed by the injured party’s insurer. The at-fault party’s insurer can then either accept the demand, make a counteroffer, or refuse to make any offer at all. The settlement process can take a few months to resolve and perhaps longer if the parties aren’t represented by an attorney. It is possible, however, for accident victims whose injuries were relatively mild, to pursue a settlement on their own, without a legal representative.
Tips for Settling Your Claim
Claimants who have decided to pursue their personal injury claims on their own by entering settlement negotiations without the aid of an attorney will need to take a few steps first, including:
Investigating the accident and compiling evidence of fault and damages.
Identifying all liable parties.
Evaluating the extent of the damages suffered by adding up medical bills, property damage-related expenses, and lost wages.
Speaking with the insurance adjuster to discover what the company is willing to cover after the claim is filed.
Drafting a demand letter, in which the claimant requests a certain amount of money and explains why the other party is liable for the accident; and
Entering settlement negotiations with the insurer, who may not accept the original demand letter, but instead counter with a lower amount.
If, after taking all these steps, a claimant decides that the only way to resolve the case is to go to court, then he or she should do some research regarding the costs of litigation. There are administrative charges, court fees, and the potential for more lost income. Juggling these tasks without legal support can, however, be difficult. For help entering settlement negotiations with the person who caused your own accident, reach out to our legal team today.
Request a Free Consultation
Although it is possible to represent oneself in settlement negotiations when attempting to recover damages after an accident, doing so can be risky. Attorneys have the experience and skills to streamline the settlement process and to negotiate the best possible settlement amount. For an evaluation of your own case, please call (276) 777-7654 and set up a meeting with one of the dedicated Virginia personal injury lawyers at The Jackson Law Group today.