Personal injury insurance settlement negotiations in CA can be tricky without the right advice and assistance of legal counsel. Having negotiated hundreds of claims throughout the Golden State ranging from traffic collisions to injuries on commercial and residential property to all manner of claims involving bodily harm, I thought I would share some of my tips on effective negotiation tactics. Being able to resolve a claim without having to file a lawsuit can save a client both attorney’s fees and costs. Most personal injury lawyers have a “graduated” scale on their contingency fee agreements. Oftentimes, the percentage of the gross recovery charged as lawyer fees increases the longer the case drags on and the more work the attorney has to do in filing a formal lawsuit in court, conducting discovery (including sending out and responding to requests for information and documents, taking and defending depositions) and preparing for mediation, arbitration or trial of the case. In addition, litigation of claims costs money! There are court filing fees, fees to have the lawsuit served on the defendant(s) by a certified process server or constable, costs of court reporters to record deposition proceedings, costs of expert witnesses and many other expenses. Therefore, it is most often in the economic interest of a personal injury client to try to have their claim resolved sooner rather than later from a net proceeds standpoint unless the offer to settle is so low that the risks and costs of proceeding forward are outweighed by the potential for greater recovery.
Top Five Strategies Used by Attorneys to Maximize the Settlement Offer From An Insurance Claims Adjuster Prior to Filing a Lawsuit
There are many tactics and approaches used by lawyers who represent injury claimants to maximize value and increase the chances of settling a claim “pre-litigation.” I thought I would share my top five methods as follows: