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.
The first step to negotiation is to determine the value of your case. This can be affected by many factors, including:
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 in Oregon are classified as either economic damages or non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
Non-economic damages include:
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.
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.
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:
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.
The insurance company and your personal injury lawyer may investigate the accident by reviewing evidence such as:
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.
The insurance company and your lawyer may engage in several rounds of negotiations before arriving at a final amount for your settlement.
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.
Personal injury lawyers are experienced in guiding clients through all of these steps. Tillman Law Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience negotiating high-value settlements for injury victims. Contact us today or call us at (503) 272-8986 to schedule a free consultation.