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The Process of Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement

If you are injured in an accident that is somebody else’s fault you are entitled to compensation. The problem is that determining what this compensation should be can be a challenge. You will need to negotiate a personal injury settlement and this can be quite an involved process.

The first step in negotiating a personal injury settlement is to find a lawyer. This is an important step and something that you need to do quickly after you have been injured. The insurance company are going to want to settle the claim for as little as possible. x-ray accidentThey have found that one of the best ways to do this is to make you a low ball offer right away, before you have a lawyer to advise you. If you don’t accept this offer they will ask lots of questions about the accident in the hopes of getting you to say something that they can use to reduce the amount that they have to pay you. It is critical that you not say anything and that you have a lawyer to speak on your behalf.

Finding a lawyer is a pretty easy process, they may well find you. Personal injury lawyers are called ambulance chasers for a reason. That being said you probably don’t want to work with the first lawyer who shows up at the hospital to see you. If you know anybody who has used a personal injury lawyer recently you should ask them for a referral. If not go online and search for Houston personal injury attorney and you should get plenty of results to choose from. You are not going to have a lot of time to make a decision on a lawyer so just call a couple and explain your situation and pick one that you feel comfortable with. Most personal injuries will accept calls twenty four hours a day and will come right to the hospital to help you.

Once you have a lawyer to represent you they will handle most of the negotiation with the insurance company. Your lawyer will investigate what happened so that they are able to best present your case. It is important that you be completely honest with your lawyer about what happened. Your lawyer works for you so anything you tell him won’t be used against you. Your lawyer does however need to know all of the facts so that he doesn’t get caught by surprise if the insurance company discovers something that you don’t didn’t tell him. It is also important that you follow your lawyers advice and that you not say anything without first discussing it.

Once your lawyer has completed his investigation he will start to negotiate a deal with the insurance company. Almost certainly he will ask for quite a bit more than he realistically expects to get. The insurance company will of course offer far less than they expect to have to pay. In most cases they will be able to go back and forth and come to an agreement that will satisfy both parties. It costs a lot of money to go to court, not to mention all of the time it takes. Both sides know that they will usually be better off if they come to a settlement so that is usually what happens.

In some cases it won’t be possible to come to an agreement if the sides are too far apart. The problem may be that there is a large discrepancy in what the two sides think a fair settlement will be or it may be that the facts of the case are in dispute and there is no agreement about who is at fault for the accident. In these cases it will be necessary to go to court. This is a long and stressful process which is why your lawyer will usually try to avoid it. One of the problems with going to court is that it could take years to get your money. This is a problem if you need it right away. In some cases the insurance company may refuse to settle in the hopes that if they can draw the process out long enough you will become desperate enough that you will take a lower settlement. Once a settlement is made whether through negotiation or in a courtroom you are going to have to pay your lawyer. Most people pay their personal injury lawyer on a contingency basis, that is the lawyer takes a percentage of the settlement. In most cases this will be about a third of the settlement amount.

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