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Settling a Personal Injury Claim

Unlike what most people see on television, court cases take a long time. This is true of both criminal and civil cases. As long as the courts are involved, you can be sure that you will wait months, if not years, until your case is resolved.

Some people settle their cases directly with the insurance company of the would-be defendant without the help of an attorney. This is just fine for the insurance companies, which may offer 5% to 10% of what their cases are actually worth. It will be faster than a civil lawsuit, but not by much; insurers will not settle a claim without first investigating its merits. These are people who need money fast, or who believe that they are getting a good deal because they do not have to pay a lawyer to do it. Even an Atlanta truck accident lawyer can tell you that this is a terrible idea.

What these people don’t understand that in personal injury cases, lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means that the potential client will not have to shell out any money at all, and the lawyers will only get paid if they win a case. A would-be plaintiff will only cheat himself or herself out of just compensation by settling too early. In fact, if the insurance company offers any settlement at all, it is likely that the plaintiff has a very good case.

This is why the initial consultation is important. The lawyer will carefully assess a case if it has merit. If there is no basis for a claim, the personal injury lawyer will not proceed with filing a case. Instead, they may advise the client to accept any settlement that the insurer may offer them because there is little chance that the case will go to trial, and even less that the plaintiff will win.

If you believe that you have a personal injury claim, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer before making a claim or accepting a settlement. You will not have to pay for the initial consultation, anyway.

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