Settling a Lincoln car accident case involves working with both your own and the other driver’s insurance company to determine what compensation you will receive. The settlement can include monetary damages for medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and other emotional losses related to the accident.
These insurance companies often use cunning tactics to limit the total amount they will pay you. However, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer can provide you the legal firepower you need to fight these insurance adjusters. Reach out to Berry Law today to find out how our dedicated legal team can help you seek justice after a car accident.
Why Would an Injured Party Choose to Settle?
While an attorney can provide a recommendation on whether you should settle your auto wreck claim or go to trial, you have the final say. There are many reasons why someone might choose to negotiate outside of court rather than proceed with litigation.
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company offers you a reasonable settlement, and you believe a trial could result in a less favorable outcome, it’s probably best to avoid a court case. Conversely, if the settlement offer doesn’t address all your current and future needs, a lawyer will likely advise you to take the case to court.
Preparing for an Initial Consultation with an Accident Attorney in Lincoln
When you meet with an attorney at Berry Law for your free consultation, you should bring a full copy of your motor vehicle coverage policy and insurance card. Additionally, you should bring your medical card if you have health insurance.
If possible, it is useful to gather records relevant to the accident, including the police report, hospital bills, and any other documents related to your medical treatment. The more information the lawyer has about the nature of your injuries, the at-fault driver, and the potential witnesses, the more likely that attorney can give you an informed evaluation of your case.
Understanding the Settlement Process
The first step in negotiating an insurance settlement is gathering and evaluating the relevant evidence. After reviewing all the documents you provide, an attorney will investigate further by examining any records related to subrogation liens, hospital liens, and property damage. It would be reckless for a lawyer to engage in settlement discussions without doing his or her due diligence to analyze the evidence in the case and calculate damages.
After the attorney determines a range for the settlement value of the case, he or she will craft a demand that reflects the high end of that scale. This gives the lawyer flexibility in negotiating the claim. It is important to note that the injured person could lose all credibility if he or she makes a demand without facts to support the claim.
A loyal attorney will counsel you on what a realistic settlement demand would be for your car accident case. Regardless of what your claim is worth, insurance companies typically don’t offer their best settlement right away. A lawyer will likely advise you to respond to the initial settlement with a counteroffer. These negotiations can continue until you and the other party agree, or you decide to file a lawsuit.
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Calculating the Value of a Case
The easiest way to calculate damages is to add up the total amount of special economic damages. Nebraska follows the collateral source rule, meaning the car insurance company cannot mention bills that the health insurance provider paid or payments that Med Pay covered. You are entitled to the full value of your medical bills after a vehicle collision.
For example, if United Health Care is your insurance company and they pay $600 for an MRI, but the full face value of that imaging scan is $3,500, their component of damages is $3,500. The insurance company cannot limit the payment solely because your healthcare provider paid $600.
Per Diem Method
The most reliable way to determine the settlement value of an auto wreck case in Lincoln is to calculate the injured person’s damages through the per diem method. This method consists of comparing the plaintiff’s losses with the jury verdicts of cases similar to the injured party’s.
Structuring Settlement Payments
In a typical personal injury claim, the insurance company gives the injured party a lump sum in exchange for a full release and satisfaction of the at-fault party and his or her insurance carrier. It may take 14 to 28 days to process the money, but providing the insurance company with all necessary tax documents could expedite the process. The insurance provider might also pay structured settlements, in which you would receive a certain amount of money over a defined period of time.
Seek Legal Help when Settling a Lincoln Car Accident Case
Deciding whether to go to trial or negotiate with the negligent driver is a difficult decision, but an attorney can advise you on how to reach the best possible outcome for your case. If you decide to settle, the other party’s insurance company will try to pay the lowest amount possible, but you don’t have to accept an unreasonable offer.
Our experienced lawyers can work to get you the full compensation you deserve Call Berry Law today to discuss the process of settling a Lincoln car accident case.