Will My Personal Injury Lawyer Negotiate With the Insurance Company?
Yes, if you hire a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Injury Law, we will attempt to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a fair settlement value cannot be reached through conventional methods, we will be fully prepared to take your personal injury claim to trial. Once you hire a lawyer, you don’t have to deal with insurance companies, bill collectors, or the other party involved. Your legal counsel handles all direct correspondence for you.
Why you want a slip & fall attorney to deal with the insurer for you
In the days following your accident, insurance company representatives will no doubt call you to “take care of business.” However, you are not legally obliged to speak to the insurance company. In fact, you may prefer to have a slip & fall attorney acting as your representative for the following reasons:
- Attorneys look out for your best interest. Insurance companies are profit-earning businesses, so it’s in their best interest to settle your claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. While you no doubt want to put matters behind you soon, you don’t want to end up with significant out-of-pocket expenses and no legal recourse later on. Since personal injury attorneys only get paid if you get paid, your best interest is theirs, too.
- You don’t want to incriminate yourself. There are many tricks institutionalized to cheat you out of money for your slip and fall claim. A seemingly innocuous question like “Hi, how are you feeling today?” can be later used to minimize your injuries.
- You don’t want to sign your rights away. Insurers will want you to sign waivers or accept a check that passes up your legal right to sue. Do not sign anything until an attorney looks over it! Much is hidden in the fine print of these “routine” forms.
- You don’t want to miss any deadlines. Insurers may ignore you after a settlement offer or during a dispute in hopes of delaying your claim past the state-imposed deadline to file a lawsuit. California generally gives you up to two years from the date of an accident to pursue a civil action.
- A second, unbiased opinion is valuable. Lawyers work with experts in a variety of fields to help them accurately value claims. You may want an auto body shop that isn’t affiliated with the insurer estimating repair costs. A medical evaluator, vocational specialist, or forensic economist can be helpful in determining what your current losses and long-term expenses might be.
How insurance company negotiations work
First, you will contact Ellis Injury Law slip & fall attorneys for a free, no-obligation case review. We will learn about what happened and estimate how much your case is potentially worth. Should we agree to work together toward recovery, we’ll bring in our team of experts to fully investigate your claim, gather evidence, look over the insurance policy limits, estimate your expenses and losses, and prove negligence. Meanwhile, the insurer will assign an adjuster to your case to limit the company’s total liability.
At Ellis Injury Law, we treat every case like we are taking it to court, though most claims do resolve in settlement negotiations. Once we have built a strong case, we issue a demand letter to the insurance company that includes an overview of the case facts, an explanation of losses, and the payout amount we believe is fair.
The insurance company can agree to pay the amount and settle right away, refuse to pay anything, or (most commonly) make a substantially lower counter-offer. If they refuse to pay the amount requested, they must provide a sound rationale for denying or minimizing the claim and defend their decision. We typically go through a back-and-forth effort to get the claim to fall within the desired range for similar out-of-court settlements.
If the insurer refuses to pay a reasonable amount, we may seek your approval to file a personal injury lawsuit. A court date will be set before judge and jury, though a settlement may still be offered immediately upon filing, any time up until trial, or even during the trial. Once an offer is agreed upon, you could get your money in as little as a month.
Hire a skilled negotiator as your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
There are no guarantees when coming to terms with an insurance provider, but it often boils down to extending professionalism, respect, and common courtesies. Insurance adjusters may not give the respect that is due to a person handling his or her own claim. Emotions and the immediate need for compensation can put you in a tense negotiating position. We can help put your mind at ease and assist you in staving off bill collectors and tapping local financial resources as you wait for your settlement.
A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will understand the different strategies adjusters take on a claim and will know what is allowed by law. With more than 20 years’ experience fighting for slip and fall victims’ rights and over $350 billion secured, we know our way around California courtrooms. We want to help you settle your claim in the most expedient, hassle-free manner. Call Ellis Injury Law any time, 24/7, to schedule a free consultation.