We would all rather live in a world where lawyers were not necessary for car accidents, but the simple fact is that insurance carriers are so aggressive in their handling of legitimate cases that attorneys are a necessity in many situations. What is the best way to settle your Atlanta car accident injury claim for top dollar then?
1. Do not hire a lawyer if your medical bills come to less than $4,000.00 and responsibility is clear. A lawyer just cannot make enough of a pricing difference to justify their 33% fee for simple cases like this.
2. Be proactive in gathering as many of your own medical records as you can even if a lawyer is handling the case for you. Lawyers and their staffs can get bogged down in waiting for the whole picture to emerge. If you can keep track of the totals of your bills as you go along then you will have a leg up in information when it comes time to send the demand.
3. If you have health insurance, they should be paying all of your medical bills as you go and you can discuss reimbursement with them later. Remember you get the benefit of the bill reduction discount this way. If you are going to a chiropractor or medical clinic that refuses to take your health insurance, run away! They do not have your best interests at heart.
4. The demand is the comprehensive package of medical bills and lost wages documentation that your lawyer sends along with a lettter outlining how much is demanded. The amount of the demand is not the value of the case. It is a starting point for negotiations on the claim. Be sure to discuss the eventual goal with the lawyer and have a meeting of the minds on values.
5, Before you authorize a demand to go to the insurance company, be sure the lawyer is willing to file suit on the case if the offer is not fair. Once the offers come in, it is impractical to fire the lawyer and hire another because the first one has lien for their fees.
6. Request that the lawyer send you a copy of the demand when it goes out. If you have completed your medical care, it should take 45 days or less to get the medical records in and for the demand to go out. Set a timeline with the attorney.
7. For soft tissue cases with property damage above $2,500 and clear liability, you can expect an offer of about 150% of your medical bills, or $7500 on a 5000 bill and $15000 on $10,000. DUI and fleeing the scene can add to these numbers significantly.