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When You Settle A Case, Do You Just Agree With The Insurance Company And Then Tell Me What You Settled For?

When I am in negotiations, I let you know about each new offer, and I don’t settle without your approval.

This surprises a lot of my clients. But I think it’s necessary.

Whether it’s an auto accident, a fall, or a wrongful death. Whether the person I work for sustained a permanent deformity, an amputation, or lost a loved one due to wrongful death – or even if they just sprained a knee.

I begin the settlement process by reviewing all of the information, [almost always] preparing a demand letter that talks about your lawsuit for about a page or two, and then emailing that demand letter to you so we can review it together. I learn more, and that eliminates some mistakes.
I tell you what I think we should ask for, and what I think we should accept if it is offered. This is usually framed by what I think a jury will do with the lawsuit.

I also discuss with you the amount of subrogation or medical bills that would normally be paid out of the settlement, and what I would suggest offering to the health insurers and/or doctors in satisfaction of these bills.

I send the letter to the insurance company, with a demand for a particular number.

A couple weeks later, the insurance adjuster calls me, and makes an offer.

I call you, tell you what they offered, and review the information above. I revise my figures as necessary.
Then I make a counter-demand to the other driver’s insurance.

The process repeats itself. New demand. New Offer. Discussion with client. New demand.

As I think we are getting closer to a number that the other insurance will accept, I get your permission to settle within a range.

I also begin contacting the health insurers and doctors you owe money to, and I negotiate with them what they will get out of the settlement. Technically, you owe the bills; the main levers that I have are sympathy, fairness, the fact that you don’t have to agree to accept any offer from the other driver’s insurance, and – if appropriate – the fact that the creditor will have a hard time collecting from you if they aren’t paid out of the settlement, for whatever reason.

When I get the best offer I can from the other driver’s insurance, I tell them that I will accept it if I can get the people you owe to accept a reasonable offer. Then I contact the people you owe, and negotiate until I think they are as low as I can get them.

I try to give you a “bottom line” – what you will get after deducting attorney fees, costs, payments to doctors and health insurers. But as you can see, it’s usually a range – because I am really conducting at least two, and maybe as many as 4 or 5, negotiations at the same time.

The bottom line – I get your specific approval for the number I will accept from the insurance company. I do do the best I can on negotiating the amounts you owe doctors, hospitals and insurers.

Some of my clients would like me to communicate with them less during this process. They trust my judgment, and don’t want to think about it that much. But my job is to let you know what is going on.

And I have never had a client tell me they are surprised.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I negotiate with doctors, chiropractors, hospitals, and healthcare insurance companies all the time. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Injury Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

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