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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"

Meet Our Attorneys
Our Awards & Memberships
  • Best Personal injury lawyers in Alexandria
  • NTL-40-under-40
Client Reviews
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    5.0/5.0

    Talk to Tom - he’s friendly, sincere and easy to work with. I was seriously hit at 60+mph by a drunk driver running a red light. I interviewed 3 firms and chose Tom/Curcio Law. Glad I did. They were diligent in pursuing my claim and dealing with al...

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    Jack Butler

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    5.0/5.0

    Through no fault of my own, I hurt my leg on the sharp corner of a metal step stool in a public restroom. It was a serious and deep laceration that required prolonged treatment in a hospital wound care center and still impacts my life. Even when othe...

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    Marjorie Kitzes

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    5.0/5.0

    I was a passenger in a horrible car accident and sustained injuries. Curcio Law, especially Tom Curcio, fought hard for me and won my injury law suit. This law firm is excellent and I highly recommend them. They are truly the best.

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    Sean Mclemore

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    5.0/5.0

    Justin was patient and thorough and able to get a great resolution for my family. I would recommend him to help other family and friends.

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    Dara Katz

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    5.0/5.0

    I cannot express in mere simple words how grateful I am for Curcio Law Firm, especially Rakin. I never dreamed, as a pedestrian, while standing and waiting to cross the street in Old Town, Alexandria, VA, that I would be struck by an SUV and live thr...

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    Dana Neese

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