There are always things you can try to speed up the process. But you have to be careful.
A lot of it depends on the adjuster – the insurance company employee assigned to your case.
With some insurance adjusters, making a “reasonable” demand early is a good way to tell them you are seriously interested in settling the case. With others, it’s like dealing with a dark, evil enemy – acting “reasonable” may be seen as a sign of weakness.
Asking the other side to mediate, or participate in a controlled negotiation, is usually a good idea – it’s a good way to negotiate a final resolution to the case.
But if the insurance company seriously thinks that its lawyer might be able to get the case dismissed, it can be a mistake to request a mediation before the insurance lawyer has made a motion and the judge has ruled on it.
Asking for an early mediation when the insurance company thinks it can get the case dismissed may delay the case, and it may cause you to expose your “real” bargaining position too early.
A few things are usually good ideas:
• One thing that usually works is trying to bring out information that will make your side look better, or the other side look worse.
For instance, if you’ve been bitten by a dog, one issue can be whether the defendant knew he had a vicious dog. Taking the statement under oath of a neighbor who has been bitten by the same dog can let the insurance company know you have a good case.
And taking the deposition of a doctor or rehabilitation expert who will talk about your permanent injury can remind the insurance company of the damages it may have to pay.
• If you really want to settle the lawsuit, and you know the other side doesn’t think they can get it dismissed, set it for mediation as soon as most of the important evidence is undisputed.
• If you think the other attorney – and the insurance company he works for – is a straight shooter, don’t be afraid to ask for a reasonable number.
• If you are expecting the insurance company to try to get the case dismissed – lawyers often call this “moving for summary judgment” – ask the court to set a briefing schedule on the issue early.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. I am always thinking about the best and fastest way to get my clients their money. If you want to talk about the best way to deal with the insurance company, speak with an experienced Injury Lawyer in Greater Cincinnati – call me at 513-621-4775 in Cincinnati.
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.