“The insurance company is offering a settlement; is it a fair settlement offer?” I get this call at leas wife a week and when the caller is represented by an Atlanta car accident attorney already, it is disconcerting because that is who the question would be directed to. Nevertheless, this article wil tackle the two most common scenarios that result in this phone call; do it yourselfers and people represented by lousy lawyers.
Settlement offer and you are not represented by a lawyer in Georgia
Sometimes the caller has been approached by the insurer soon after the wreck and they want to settle out case; usually for $500. This is a common tactic with Progressive. In cases where several weeks have passed and you only had one visit and feel fine, there is little danger in closing the matter out, assign the medical bills and reimbursement claims are taken care of.
If it is early in our medical care though, ounhaveto remember that there is no going back. When you settle a case, it is final. If you have not healed up yet, do not even think about settling the car accident claim. Everything may heal p perfectly but it is better to be safe than sorry.
How do you know whether you should hire a lawyer to handle our case? As we have written many times, in simple clear liability cases involving passenger cars and trucks with no alcohol involvement; you should not hire a lawyer unless your medical records exceed $4,000. Why? Because presuit, most lawyers charge 33.33 percent contingency fees and that means if you have a $5000 offer and hire a lawyer, you will need to get more than $8,000 to pocket the same amount of money. Now sometimes you have a complex medical reimbursement issue with your health insurer and the lawyer will be worth the cost to increase our net number; but in most cases $4,000 in gross medical bills is the tipping point.
As your bills mount past that point, the math works out such that you take home number will net out higher because of the lawyers number.
I Have a Lawyer but Want Another Opinion on the Settlement Offer
This question worries me a great deal. Part of the reason you hire a car accident attorney in Atlanta is for their expertise in evaluating a case and a settlement offer. If you are not getting a clear signal from your lawyer about whether a case should be litigated or settled, then you need to nag them until they do. If they cannot explain in detail their logic, then it is time to get a real second opinion. Truthfully, you lawyer should have told you what he case was worth before they even sent the demand package out. It is our practice to prepare the demand to the insurer and then speak with the client about case value, the amount of the demand and the acceptable range of settlement values.
The bottom line is our lawyer is a guide and if their guidance is lacking, give them an earful.