If you have been injured due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you have the right to pursue compensation. These funds can cover the medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering that you have suffered due to your injuries. If you have lost a family member due to another person’s acts, you can seek compensation for wrongful death.
There are two ways you can secure this compensation: You can go to trial and obtain a verdict, or you can reach a settlement outside of court with the at-fault party.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our attorneys have years of experience with seeking compensation for personal injury victims in Chicago and Illinois. We make reaching a full, fair and timely settlement a priority. However, we always stand ready to go to battle for our clients in court.
A settlement is an out-of-court agreement. You enter into this agreement with the person, company or entity that is responsible for paying you compensation after you have suffered an injury.
You may be surprised to learn that this usually is not the person who hurt you or your family member. Instead, it is the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Whether you are negotiating with the insurer or with the defendant directly, the goal is to agree to an amount that fully covers your injuries and losses. This amount should cover everything you could potentially receive if your case went to court.
Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurer typically will try to get you to accept the least amount of compensation possible and settle for less than you deserve. You need to ensure that you understand your rights going into a settlement. This is why it is so important to have an attorney help you.
Knowing Insurance Policy Limits
When you settle your case, the process generally begins by investigating the case and determining what your claim should be worth.
A lawyer from Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., can help you gather evidence about your injury and establish a compelling case. The stronger your evidence, the more likely the insurance company will provide a fair settlement offer.
Your attorney can also find out what the insurance policy limits are. Insurance companies won’t pay more than the policy limits.
Putting Together the Settlement Package
Settlement negotiations begin with the insurance company when you make a demand from the insurer/defendant or when the insurance company makes you an offer. Often, you should make the first demand. This allows the negotiations to start on your terms.
Your attorney can put together a settlement package and send a demand letter. A settlement package is simply a request for compensation. It is accompanied by material that proves why you are entitled to what you demand. The settlement package can be as simple as a basic list of expenses and information about your claim. It could also be a comprehensive presentation of information that includes video.
The goal is to convince the insurer that your case is strong and that the amount of money you are asking for is a reasonable amount for the injuries and losses you have sustained.
Once the insurer either makes an offer or receives your demand letter or settlement package, there usually will be back-and-forth negotiations. You may get a counteroffer. You may make your own counteroffers.
In some cases, a mediator will try to help both sides to agree to a settlement. The mediator won’t tell you what to do or take sides. By definition, mediators are neutral.
If you come to an agreement, then you can settle your case. A legal agreement will be created and, usually, sent to a judge for approval. You will need to give up all of your rights to make an injury claim arising from the accident in exchange for accepting the settlement amount. You will sign a release before you can get paid. You will not be allowed to change your mind once you have signed. You will then be paid the settlement amount in a lump sum or under whatever settlement terms you agreed to.
Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to Learn More about Settlements
The personal injury attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., have extensive experience helping clients in Chicago and Illinois to negotiate settlement claims. In fact, we have recovered more than $1.5 billion on behalf of our clients, including more than 280 multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.
Our lawyers will strive to secure compensation for you that is fair and covers your losses in full. If you have been hurt and are ready to start the settlement process, call Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., or contact us online today.