Who determines the settlement value of my case? Will the insurance carrier pay the demand figure in my attorney’s request for settlement? Because the insurance company will undercut my attorney’s request for settlement, why not request a very large sum to begin with?
Your lawyer, and the firm in which your lawyer is a member, have a great deal of experience in the area of personal injury law. After evaluating all of the factors outlined above in How Much is My Case Worth?, your lawyer will discuss the case with you to arrive at a possible settlement range.
Once you have agreed upon a general settlement range, your attorney will present a demand to the insurance company in the hope and expectation that the insurance company will pay a settlement within the range determined.
It is important to know that you have the ultimate decision to make, but, because of your lawyer’s experience in this area of law, you should seriously and carefully consider any recommendation he or she makes as to the ultimate value of your case.
In almost every case, the final demand figure issued by your attorney in the first letter requesting settlement is substantially higher than the actual settlement range. This is a common negotiation tactic for personal injury cases.
Because of your attorney’s experience in this area of law, a request for settlement will usually be made in an amount that gives both parties a fair amount of room to negotiate. Therefore, do not consider the demand figure to be the actual settlement range of your case.
Many people believe that because the carrier will come back with a lower figure than the demand, the attorney for the injured person should request a very high figure to begin negotiations. Such a process rarely works. If the first demand figure is way out of line, most insurance companies will not even respond to the request for settlement.
Asking for a high figure for settlement that is ridiculous will often delay the process and sometimes will make the insurance company refuse to make any offer at all. Therefore, it is important that the first demand be reasonable at least. Because your lawyer is experienced in this area of law, he or she will have the best idea as to amount for the first demand figure.
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