There is no definitive answer how long settlement negotiations can last in Connecticut. A personal injury case may take several months to resolve due to a variety of factors. At Carter Mario Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers do everything they can to resolve cases in a timely manner on behalf of their injured clients.
Length of a Settlement Negotiation in Connecticut
Settlement negotiations often do not last longer than two years. This is because the statute of limitations for personal injury claims under Connecticut State law is two years. Nonetheless, the process of preparing a case for settlement involves many tasks which must be completed following an accident.
Factors Affecting How Long a Settlement Negotiation Can Take
People often make the mistake of thinking insurance companies make settlement offers immediately following an accident. This is rare. Instead, several factors affect the length of settlement negotiations.
To assert a successful personal injury claim, you must present proof of your damages, i.e., your legally recognized losses such as your injuries. Accidents often result in victims suffering injuries which require medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your medical treatment may last several months, which can delay negotiations.
Insurance companies often stall cases by claiming they need more time to review or investigate the facts of an accident. Along with this, insurance companies also stall by stating they need more time to evaluate a claim for settlement. Another common stall tactic used by insurance companies is delaying obtaining settlement authority.
Conflict During Negotiations
Two common conflicts which arise during negotiations center around the issues of fault and the victim’s injuries. For example, in car accident cases, insurance companies argue their drivers are not at fault or the victim contributed to the collision. Additionally, insurance companies downplay the severity and financial value of a victim’s injuries.
Court Hold Ups
If you are forced to file a lawsuit, the insurance carrier may refuse to negotiate until you formally serve their client. If you are unable to find the negligent person, your case will be delayed. Additionally, the insurance company may prolong litigation by engaging in extensive discovery and forcing you to undergo medical examinations.
Finding an Attorney
It is unwise to negotiate with an insurance company without first obtaining legal representation. You should retain the services of an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney. The award-winning personal injury attorneys at Carter Mario Law Firm have been representing injured victims for over 30 years.
General Timeline of a Settlement Negotiation
After an accident and a victim’s medical treatment, several things occur during a personal injury case. The completion of a victim’s medical treatment is often the beginning of the timeline of the settlement process. Negotiations often begin after a demand letter is sent to the insurance company.
Demand letters are commonly used tools in personal injury cases. A demand package contains a victim’s medical records and bills, along with a letter describing the act of negligence the opposing party committed and a summary of the victim’s injuries. A well prepared demand letter can encourage an insurance company to settle early.
In many cases, insurance companies present offers after receiving demand letters. However, the initial offers made by insurance companies often do not reflect the true value of a victim’s injuries. As a result of these initial low offers, the personal injury attorneys at Carter Mario present carefully considered counteroffers in order to make progress during settlement negotiations.
Successful negotiations depend on knowing the legal and factual strength of a personal injury case. A personal injury lawyer must also be able to effectively communicate the extent of your injuries, the necessity of your medical treatment, and how the pain from your injuries affected your life. Additionally, a personal injury attorney must be able to push back against an insurance company’s arguments while tactically presenting reduced settlement offers in order to encourage the insurance company to present increased counteroffers.
The Process of Mediation
Mediation can be an effective negotiation tool. Essentially, mediation involves both parties presenting their arguments to a neutral mediator with the intent and authority to reach a settlement. Mediators are often retired judges or lawyers who guide and encourage the parties towards settling.
Going to Court
Sometimes, insurance companies will not engage in settlement discussions until a lawsuit is filed. Insurance companies sometimes re-evaluate their defenses when presented with the threat of high judgment. In many cases, insurance companies present fair settlement offers immediately before trial.
Accepting a Settlement
After a victim accepts a settlement offer, the insurance company will send a release. This is a contract which a victim must sign to finalize a settlement. Specifically, a release contains language in which a victim surrenders their right to pursue a legal claim in exchange for a monetary settlement.
How to Speed Up Settlement Negotiations
You can speed up settlement negotiations by providing relevant documents and evidence to your attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This will allow your attorney to be better prepared. Additionally, you should follow your attorney’s advice and actively participate in your attorney’s efforts to prepare your testimony if the case will go to court.
Summary of Settlement Negotiation Length
The amount of time needed to settle a case depends on several factors. Specifically, the facts of your accident, injuries and medical treatment, and the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate can either shorten or prolong settlement negotiations. At Carter Mario, our personal injury attorneys do everything possible to pressure insurance companies to make fair settlement offers.
Talk with an Experienced Attorney at Carter Mario, Your CT Law Firm
If you were injured in an accident, you need experienced legal representation. The attorneys at Carter Mario Law Firm have been successfully battling insurance companies for over 30 years and have obtained over one billion dollars in financial compensation for our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.