There is no timetable that gives the starting date for the process of settling a personal injury claim. That process does not begin until the injured victim has received an offer. The offer of a proposed payment must be made by the defendant, or by the defendant’s legal representative.
That initial offer leads to negotiations
The recipient of the offer, the plaintiff/victim must make a choice. The plaintiff must choose between accepting the offer, rejecting the offer, or prosing different terms. If the plaintiff proposes different terms, then a new offer/proposal has been made. A new recipient, the defendant’s representative receives that proposal. It then becomes the new recipient’s job to make a choice. There is no limit to the number of offers and choices that can get made during the course of the negotiations. Ideally, the negotiating parties finally reach an agreement.
The final terms discussed at the close of negotiations get put in an agreement.
That written agreement includes the names of the parties involved, the amount of money to be paid to the plaintiff, and the terms the spell out how the defendant must make the payments. A complete written agreement should also give the consequences to be faced by the defendant, if the plaintiff does not receive the expected payments. That fact helps to ensure the existence of one of the advantages enjoyed by those that take part in a settlement.
Advantages enjoyed by those taking part in a settlement
The person that wins an award can enjoy a victory; the terms of the settlement should preserve that victory for the victim/plaintiff. Neither party must sit through a long trial. The defendant does not have to pay any legal costs. A trial can be expensive, especially for a defendant, or a defendant’s representatives. That is why insurance companies try to persuade a claimant to settle a claim, before the associated case gets taken to court.
Personal injury lawyer in Airdrie know that the defendant enjoys a freedom from future lawsuits, at least any that might relate to the same injury-causing accident. That fact highlights yet another reason that insurance companies encourage a claimant to settle, instead of pursuing litigation. If a claimant develops new symptoms after agreeing to settle, that claimant cannot re- introduce the previous personal injury case. That case has been closed. The claimant/victim must live with those new symptoms. In other words, the victim does not get fully compensated for all of his or her injuries.
Lawyers are well aware of that danger. Consequently, personal injury lawyers warn their clients against settling with the insurance company until each injured victim has reached the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). Of course, that means that all injuries must be accounted for.