After the demand package has been submitted to the insurance company, the attorney and the insurance carrier will begin to negotiate. Clients should never try to settle the case on their own.Attorneys who have settled thousands of cases and who have tried hundreds of cases obtain a good feel for what a case is worth. Evaluating a case for settlement is not a science, but is more of an art. there is no exact answer as to what a case is worth. Every case, no matter how similar it may seem to other cases the lawyers have tried, has some little nuance that will affect the value of the case. While the lawyer is only making an educated guess as to the value of the case, more often then not, a lawyer with years of experience, evaluation, is going to be close to what you are likely to obtain in court. Insurance adjusters can also be experienced. Some have settled thousands of claims. Even if the specific adjuster has not he will have coworkers with vast experience. If the adjuster and the layer know each other well enough then the adjuster will know that he cannot fool the lawyer.Through negotiations, both parties will reach a settlement offer that can be passed on to the client. The client is not bound by the insurance company’s settlement offer, as the settlement decision is left up to the client, not the insurance company and/or lawyer.
It is important the client listens to his/her lawyer with regard to any advice concerning a settlement offer, whether favorable or not. Sometimes the insurance company makes offers that seem unacceptable to the attorney, however, the attorney is obliged to at least present that offer to the client. The attorney will then present the pros and cons of all offers to the client and will give his opinion whether the client should accept or reject the offer.
After the attorney’s presentation, the client has the choice as to whether the offer is acceptable or not. Despite having this power of the final say, clients need to remember why they hire an attorney in the first place. Because attorneys have substantial experience in handling these claims, clients should give substantial weight to their attorney’s recommendations. Article on whether client can change mind after case is settled
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