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Negotiation

Negotiation

If you were injured in a car accident or other personal injury incident, you might try to initially handle the claim on your own.

You might think you don’t want to make a big deal of it by hiring a lawyer. However, you might quickly find that you are not prepared for what is to come. 

The insurance company might initially deny your claim. It might demand more information or say that it didn’t receive the information you already sent.

It may strongly urge you to make a recorded statement or sign a blanket release of medical information form. This all may be too much to handle on your own, especially when you are suffering from injuries related to the accident. 

Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators. They know how to minimize the value of claims to save their employers money. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also be a skilled negotiator who can level the playing field.

Personal injury lawyers know the process and the work it takes to build a solid claim. They are also familiar with the tactics insurance companies employ to try to avoid paying on valid claims. 

Tillman Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help with your personal injury case from building your case to negotiating fair compensation.

Factors That Affect The Value Of Your Case

Factors That Affect The Value Of Your Case

The first step to negotiation is to determine the value of your case. This can be affected by many factors, including:

Liability 

The party who was responsible for an accident is generally the one required to pay for the resulting damages. If liability is clear in your case, your case may be more valuable than when there are ambiguities in the evidence. 

If you contributed to the accident, your claim may be less valuable. This is because Oregon uses a modified comparative negligence system that diminishes the value of your claim by your degree of fault. If you were more at fault for the accident than the combined negligence of the defendants, you can be barred from recovering any compensation. 

Damages 

Damages in Oregon are classified as either economic damages or non-economic damages. 

Economic damages include:

  • Medical, hospital, nursing, rehabilitative, and other healthcare services incurred because of the accident
  • Burial and memorial expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Future impairment of earning capacity
  • Payment for replacement domestic services 
  • Damage to reputation 
  • Recurring loss to an estate
  • Loss of property
  • Costs to repair or replace property

Non-economic damages include:

  • Pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Injury to reputation
  • Inconvenience
  • Humiliation 
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of care, comfort, companionship, and society
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

An experienced personal injury lawyer will work closely with you and get to know how the accident has affected your life. Your demand letter will incorporate information about your economic and non-economic losses, demanding fair compensation for what you have suffered. 

Available Insurance 

Insurance companies often pay to settle cases on behalf of their insured, but they will only pay up to the amount of available insurance. 

There may also be unique factors that affect the value of your case. 

The Process Involved In Securing A Personal Injury Settlement

Negotiation is a pivotal aspect of the personal injury process, but it comes at the end of the case. The general process involved in a personal injury settlement includes the following: 

Filing A Claim 

You will probably file a claim with the insurance company that covers the at-fault party. After you do this, the insurance company may send a reservation of rights letter to you. This letter may state that the insurance company is investigating the claim and reviewing any applicable insurance policy. 

Investigation 

The insurance company and your personal injury lawyer may investigate the accident by reviewing evidence such as:

  • Accident and police reports
  • Statements from the parties involved in the accident and witnesses 
  • Photos or videos of the accident, property damage, and your injuries 
  • Previous reports of accidents
  • Employment records
  • Medical records
  • Black box data and other electronically-stored information 

Demand 

Your personal injury lawyer sends the insurance company a written demand letter that sets out the details surrounding the accident, how their insured is responsible for it, and the full extent of your damages. 

Negotiations

The insurance company and your lawyer may engage in several rounds of negotiations before arriving at a final amount for your settlement. 

Settlement Agreement

Most personal injury claims end in a settlement agreement for a specified amount of compensation. In exchange, you will sign a release form saying that you are releasing the insurance company and defendant from any future claims related to the accident. Certain amounts are deducted from your settlement, such money to resolve any existing medical liens, your attorney’s fees, and costs that were advanced in your case. Your attorney provides you with the proceeds of your personal injury case. 

Contact a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Case

Personal injury lawyers are experienced in guiding clients through all of these steps. Tillman Law has extensive experience negotiating high-value settlements for injury victims. Contact us today or call us at (503) 773-3333 to schedule a free consultation.

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