Here is information about how personal injury cases are evaluated and the initial stages of litigation.
Case Evaluation and Settlement
In most cases, once you have reached an end medical result (which means that you have fully recovered, or your doctor determines that your condition will not improve with further treatment and you are permanently disabled), your claim is evaluated, a demand package is prepared, and your personal injury attorney negotiates with the defendant’s insurance company to determine if it will make a fair and reasonable offer to settle your case.
Your attorney will review and evaluate liability (who was responsible) and your damages. In addition, your attorney will consider his or her experience in evaluating, settling and trying similar cases and will often research verdicts and settlements of similar cases.
Usually a demand package is prepared and mailed to the insurance company which will include copies of investigative materials, medical records and bills, loss wage information, and a demand letter. The demand letter will discuss liability, damages, the amount of the demand, and a time within which to respond to the demand. The amount of the demand is calculated by adding the sum of your special damages to the value of your general damages.
The insurer will respond to the demand by either making an offer or denying liability. Upon receiving an offer, a breakdown of the offer should be prepared and mailed to you for your review. This is called a “Proposed Settlement Statement.” Thereafter, you should discuss the offer with your attorney and, after the discussion, your attorney will respond to the insurer’s offer. You should be kept fully informed throughout any negotiations and you should make any final decisions on settling your claim.
No Special Formula
There is no special formula in determining the value of a personal injury claim as each case is unique and, in many cases, there are numerous factors which effect the value of a case. In Massachusetts, you are entitled to fair, adequate and just compensation for your damages.
If a fair and just settlement cannot be achieved, a lawsuit should be filed against the defendant, and, if necessary, your case may go to trial.
For more information about personal injury claims, contact Attorney Bob Allison today by calling 978-740-9433 or filling out our contact form. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case.