When Do Settlement Discussions Begin

personal injury lawyer Tampa FLOnce the client has finished their medical/surgical treatment and has been released by their doctors is when settlement talks with the adverse party’s insurance carrier can begin.

However, you still need to provide information regarding the client’s economic losses caused by the accident and the resulting injuries and disabilities. Wage records from client’s employer must be obtained to determine the loss of income because of accident. Also documentation regarding future loss of income must be supplied.

Next, all the medical and hospital bills must be gathered to show any balances owed by the client. Additionally, a statement from the client’s health insurance company reflecting the exact amount they paid to the client’s health care providers must be obtained. They have a lien which allows them to be reimbursed for some, if not all, of the payments they have made out of the settlement proceeds. This is called Subrogation. It is in every health insurance policy.

By law, the client must pay the lien. If the lien is not paid when the case settles, then the client’s attorney is also responsible to pay the lien. The lien must be taken care of before the client receives the net proceeds of the settlement.

In catastrophic cases, a Life Care plan must be submitted to the adverse insurance carrier. This reflects the future life time care the client needs over the rest of his projected life expectancy for medical care, physical therapy, full time nursing care, special beds, wheel chairs etc. The total anticipated costs are provided by experts who gather all the information needed based on prior experience. The total cost is reduced to present value. This means the amount of money that needs to be received now to pay for the special needs of the client over his lifetime. Depending on the severity of the disability, this can be a significant amount of money.

Also, all of the medical and hospital records and all other records of health care providers must be obtained before any settlement discussions can take place. Once all of this information has been received and thoroughly reviewed and lawyer has a good idea of what the value of the case is for settlement purposes, then the attorney submits a settlement proposal to the insurance company and the discussions begin.

When an offer is made, the lawyer must discuss it with the client and make recommendations and decide to accept the offer or reduce the demand and continue to attempt to resolve the claim. The talks will continue until a settlement is reached or the final insurance company offer is rejected.

Before finally deciding to settle or not, the client must be informed by his attorney of the ramifications of rejecting the final offer. The only alternative is to file suit and become involved in litigation which usually takes a protracted amount of time, effort and expense. Also, the attorney’s percentage of the recovery for his fee increases from one third to forty percent once suit is filed. The client should be fully aware of all of this before he decides to settle or file suit.

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