Frequently Asked Questions
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What happens after the victim and insurance company reach a settlement?
Once the two parties reach an agreement as to how much the insurance company should pay the victim, the amount should be put in writing. The amount should be enough to pay all the victim’s expenses after the attorney fees are deducted. The insurance company will also have the victim sign a release form that bars the victim from pursuing any more claims on the accident. It typically takes a few weeks from the time the victim signs the release to receive the funds. At that point, the claim will be closed.
What happens after the insurance company receives the victim’s demand letter?
The insurance company will respond to the victim’s demand letter with an offer of their own. This is typically the lowest offer they can get away with. Victims should never accept this offer. Instead, negotiations between the two sides should begin. The victim should respond to the demand letter, reiterating the strengths of their case and include a counter-demand amount, lower than their original demand.
This back and forth will continue until the parties reach an agreed-upon settlement amount.
What is a demand letter in a personal injury claim?
A demand letter is where the victim presents their case of the car accident to the insurance company. This is where the victim will present all the facts and details of their injuries and the medical treatment received, as well as any future treatment, the injuries require. The initial amount “demanded” in the letter should be higher than the actual settlement the victim is willing to agree to. This allows for negotiation.
What is a combination settlement?
Some settlement amounts are made by both lump sum payment amount and structured settlement amount. For example, the victim may receive a large sum upfront payment, with the balance of the amount paid out in structured, smaller amounts over time.
What is a lump sum settlement?
A lump sum settlement is one way injury settlements are paid. This is when the total amount of the settlement is paid all at once. Many victims prefer this method in order to ensure they receive the amount they were awarded without any future issues, i.e. the at-fault party filing for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying the settlement amount. If the settlement amount is a large amount, the payment may be set up through a trust.
What is a structured or installment settlement?
A structured settlement is one way injury settlements are paid. The payments are made in uniform amounts over a specified period of time. The victim receives regular payments, over a few years up to throughout their life, depending on how much the settlement amount was and how long the settlement contract is. Many people choose a structured settlement in order to reduce any tax liability that may be associated with the funds.