One of the advantages that a Berger and Green lawyer can offer you is insight as to if and when settlement of your claim is desirable. The goal of settlement negotiations is ultimately to maximize the recovery to be received by you. This requires an ability to objectively and realistically assess what your case may be worth. Once a realistic value of your case is determined, a plan must be formed as to how to obtain that value. Although each and every case is unique and has its nuances, there are a number of considerations that are applicable to every case.
In determining the value of your case, there are generally two considerations that must be taken into account. The first consideration is the likelihood that there is a viable third party that is at fault, or legally liable for your injury. The second consideration is the severity of your injury. As a starting point, there must be both a probability of recovery and a legitimate injury that you have suffered, in order to have a realistic expectation of recovering money. If you are unsure as to whether or not your case meets these criteria, the personal injury attorneys at Berger and Green will be happy to evaluate your case and offer you candid advice as to whether or not we believe that we can help you. An initial consultation is free to you.
Assuming that there is legal liability for your injury and a legitimate injury, the ultimate value of your case will depend on each of these variables. The clearer cut the fault of the other party and the degree of severity and the availability of proof of your injury, the greater the value of your case.
Once these factors are assessed, a realistic settlement range must be determined. The civil litigation attorneys of Berger and Green have years of cumulative experience of knowing what the insurance companies are willing to pay and what the range of jury verdicts are for the types of orthopedic, neurological and bodily injuries that are commonly incurred in the types of cases that we handle.
Having determined a settlement range, the next step is to gather all necessary documentation and present it to the insurance companies in a format that will maximize their understanding of the strengths of your case. At this stage, a formal settlement demand is made. Once the demand is sent, the insurance company will either make an offer or deny your claim.
If an offer is made, and it is fair, the case can be settled at this point. If the offer does not reflect what your case is worth, you will need to determine whether further negotiations are justified, whether there are available Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) options or whether you should file a lawsuit. Alternative Dispute Resolution options typically include mediation, arbitration or early neutral evaluation. These options can be binding or non-binding.
An additional option is to initiate litigation (i.e. file a lawsuit). Having an attorney who is willing and able to file suit and see it through to its conclusion when it is in your best interest can be an important factor in rendering settlement negotiations effective. At Berger and Green, we handle every case on the assumption that if a fair settlement is not reached, litigation is an available option. Although there are often opportunities to settle your case after suit has been filed, if it is in your best interest to go to trial and obtain a jury verdict, the attorneys at Berger and Green have the experience and the resources to do so. On the other hand, there are risks and costs involved with litigation. These will be carefully discussed with you by your attorney if we recommend that you file a lawsuit or go to trial. In the end, it is our goal to help our clients achieve the best results.