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How Do I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

The settlement process of a personal injury claim cannot begin until you have determined liability and have proof that you sustained damages during the accident that led to your claim.

It is important to note that you should always wait until you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), which means you’ve recovered as much as possible from your injury before entering settlement proceedings. As long as you are still receiving treatment for your injuries, you will not know the full extent of your damages. If you are still receiving medical treatment for your injury, the full extent of your injury, and its impact on your life is not completely clear. If your injury worsens, requires unexpected additional care, or new symptoms arise, but you settled too early, you may end up losing the valuable compensation you deserve.

Once you have completed treatment and are ready to attempt settling your claim, your personal injury lawyer will work closely with you to put together a demand package.

That being said, you should still reach out to a personal injury attorney shortly after your accident — even if you can’t settle right away. This gives you time to prove liability and damages, keep detailed records of medical care and other valuable evidence, and build a case that maximizes your chances of receiving an appropriate settlement.

Sending a demand letter

To initiate the settlement process, your lawyer will send a demand letter.  A demand letter is the first step in the negotiations process regarding your claim. The letter includes a demand for an amount that you would accept in exchange for a full and final release of the at-fault party. Once you accept a settlement, you will have to release the at-fault party for any personal injuries or damages sustained in the accident. Your demand should reimburse all of the damages, economic and non-economic, that you suffered because of your injury.

The demand letter is an extensive document that provides details about the accident, including: 

  • The summarized facts of an accident in an uncontested fashion
  • An argument section on why the defendant is liable
  • How your injuries were sustained, and how they’ve impacted your life 
  • A description of your damages, including the injuries, medical treatment needed, medical bills, symptoms, and the longevity/duration of the injury
  • A description of the pain, mental anguish, and inconvenience that you have suffered
  • Discussion of any future treatment you may need
  • The income you’ve lost due to the accident

The negotiation process

After your demand letter is sent, the negotiation begins in earnest. Typically, there are a few rounds of negotiation, as the defendant’s insurance company will usually respond to your demand letter with a lower offer than your original demand. At this point, you can work with your attorney to lower your demand in hopes of resolving the case. Usually, this back-and-forth process results in a settlement somewhere between the original demand and the insurance company’s first offer.

What happens if a settlement can’t be reached?

Your personal injury lawyer will convey every offer to you, and based on their experience, give you advice on your best course of action. If your attorney believes you can do better, a reasonable counter-offer will be prepared that would better serve your needs moving forward.  

Though a vast majority of personal injury claims are settled, there are instances where this isn’t the case. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the defendant’s insurance company that you are satisfied with, the next step would be to bring your dispute to court, as a lawsuit, to be resolved.

OUR RESULTS
  • "$2,000,000.00 Auto Pedestrian Hit by Car / Brain Injury"

  • "$2,000,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Bus / Broken Foot, Surgery Complications & Partial Choroidal Detachment"

  • "$2,000,000.00 Wrongful Death Settlement"

  • "$1,900,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Truck / Fractured Pelvis & Multiple Surgeries"

  • "$1,500,000.00 Auto Accident / Wrongful Death"

  • "$1,200,000.00 Auto Accident / Broken Neck, Punctured Lung"

  • "$847,500.00 Dangerous Dog Bite / Facial Injury, Scarring"

  • "$600,000.00 Tractor Trailer Crash / Neck Injury, requiring surgery"

  • "$595,000.00 (Jury Verdict) Auto Accident / Broken Foot"

  • "$546,905.00 Auto Accident / Neck injury, Herniated Disc"

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    I couldn’t have been happier with Tom’s representation. He has excellent judgement, decades of experience, and really stays on top of things. He’s one of the best.

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    I'm writing this review not because I just want to wright down some lame story but why people should chose this law firm. On May 22nd 2022 I was involved in an auto accident and the person who hit me totaled my vehicle and I ended up going to the hos...

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    Thomas (Tom) Curcio was my lawyer. He took over for a friend of his. The case had been ongoing for almost 2 years. Once Tom took over, the case was settled within a year. When we met, he told me his plan of action and asked if I was ok with it. He ke...

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    I highly recommend Curcio Law, which helped me after my accident. The whole team, especially Rakin Hamad, were attentive to my needs and kept me well informed on the process and my options. They have been great to work with.

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    I worked with Rakin Hamad to settle a personal injury claim following a car accident. He was patient, kind, informative and accessible continuously throughout this process. I felt comfortable and supported throughout the year and a half working with ...

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