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What Is Negotiation in a Personal Injury Case?

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What Is Negotiation in a Personal Injury Case?

When a person or party causes someone to be injured or harmed, the victim can seek compensation for their damages from the at-fault party. A personal injury case typically begins by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance company investigates the claim to determine whether to accept or deny liability.

The negotiation process begins if the insurance company accepts liability for the claim. Negotiation is the process of bargaining to resolve a dispute with a mutual agreement. Most personal injury cases are settled through negotiations between the parties.

While each personal injury case is unique, steps common in the timeline for negotiation in a personal injury case include:

Filing a Claim

Filing a Claim

A personal injury case begins with an accident or other personal injury. If a party causes an injury, they can be held financially liable for economic and non-economic damages.

Typically, the first step is to file an insurance claim with the other party’s insurance provider. The company appoints an insurance claims adjuster to examine the claim to determine if the insured was at fault.

Be careful when you speak with an insurance adjuster. They work for the insurance company. Anything you say might be used to try to blame you for causing your injury so the company can deny or undervalue your claim.

Consult a Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer

Many Minneapolis personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. Therefore, you can obtain trusted advice about your personal injury claim during a no-obligation consultation. It is always in a victim’s best interest to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident.

A personal injury lawyer helps you with your personal injury case by:

  • Investigating your claim to gather evidence proving negligence, fault, and liability
  • Document your damages to ensure the value used for negotiation compensates you fully for all losses and harm
  • Hire expert witnesses to assist with your case when necessary
  • Handle the insurance company for you
  • Explain your legal options, including whether an insurance settlement is fair

Personal injury attorneys accept cases for a contingency fee. Therefore, you don’t pay them money when you hire them. Instead, they are paid from the proceeds they recover for your personal injury claim only if they win.

Completing Medical Treatment

Obtaining prompt medical care after an injury or accident is crucial. You must prove that the other party’s conduct caused your injuries. Delays in obtaining medical treatment could raise doubts about whether the accident caused your injury or whether your delay in medical care signifies a failure to mitigate damages.

Settlement negotiations take place after you reach maximum medical improvement. MMI occurs when your doctor states no further medical treatment is expected to improve your condition. MMI might mean you recovered fully from your injuries, or it could mean you have an impairment or disability.

Since you cannot know the full extent of your damages until you complete medical treatment, accepting a settlement before you reach MMI is unwise. However, filing deadlines must be monitored. If you hire a lawyer, your lawyer monitors the statute of limitations to ensure court documents are filed before the deadline expires.

Sending a Settlement Demand Letter

After you complete medical treatment, your attorney prepares a settlement demand letter. The letter explains your injuries and the facts of the case. It also includes an analysis of the laws that create liability for damages.

Negotiation and Settlement

The demand letter begins the settlement negotiations. The insurance company could accept the settlement offer and pay the claim. However, it might deny the claim, meaning you will probably need to file a lawsuit to pursue a claim.

The insurance company usually makes a counteroffer for a lower settlement amount. Your attorney and the company engage in back-and-forth negotiations, which could last weeks or several months. At some point, the parties agree upon a reasonable settlement amount, or negotiations cease.

If you settle your personal injury claim, the next step is to sign a settlement agreement. The agreement releases the insurance company, the at-fault party, and all other parties from any liability for the claim. In other words, you accept the amount offered as a complete and final settlement of a dispute. You cannot pursue another claim for more money.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if Negotiations Do Not Result in Settlement

If the other parties refuse to negotiate a good faith settlement, your attorney discusses filing a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, there is no guarantee you will win.

However, your attorney may advise you to proceed with the lawsuit if you have a strong case. If so, your attorney files a complaint with the civil court to begin a formal court action.

It is important to note that negotiations take place during lawsuits, too. Even though you file a lawsuit, your case could be settled through negotiations or mediation before trial.

Learn More About How to Settle a Personal Injury Case From a Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident or because of another person’s wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. During a free consultation with a Minneapolis personal injury attorney, you can learn about your legal options and how much your damages could be worth.

Contact or call our law firm Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys to request a free consultation with an experienced Minneapolis personal injury attorney at (800) 292-1979. We are located at 825 Nicollet Mall, Suite #615, Minneapolis, MN.

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