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Why You Should Beware of an Injury Law Firm Settlement Mill

Law Firm Settlement Mill

Choosing the right legal representation to handle your personal injury case can be a difficult decision. There are surely enough firms available to choose from, but finding the one that is right for your case can make a major difference. Many law firms rely heavily on television advertising, and many times they have multiple offices in several states. It is clear that these law firms are using a production method of processing claims by attempting to ensure they have an overloaded caseload. This should raise issues for the potential client, especially when the settlement mill law firm has several claims in at one particular insurer.

Watch This Video About Perception of “Discount Fee” & TV Commercial / Bus Stop Ad Injury Law Firms

Insurance companies are always focused on reducing payouts, and settlement mills that do a large number of claims have an incentive to settle low because the goal is cash flow. The insurance companies surely appreciate that business model. Conversely, the best choice may be to retain an independent private practice lawyer who you know will personally handle your case and keep you updated on any movement. It is always best to have an experienced and aggressive legal counsel that will make sure all of your rights to damage recovery are enforced.

Investigating the Value of Your Claim

One of the first steps your legal counsel will take is evaluating the case financially and attempting to identify potential multiple negligent parties. Personal injuries resulting from car accidents can be a good example of this potential, as many times car wrecks also eventually lead to product liability claims if they are implemented in the causation of the crash. In addition, many times comparative negligence can be a major factor in receiving a maximum settlement, and a settlement mill will usually only be wanting to settle with one primary insurance company. Personal injury cases can be complicated and there may be more financial value when investigated in depth.

Negotiating Your Claim

More often than not, a personal injury claim will also include an insurance company that is wanting to process the case quickly for the lowest amount possible. For a settlement mill law firm, this may be the objective. Settlement mills are also usually major firms with multiple staff members, including paralegals and office workers. There is no assurance with a settlement mill that your personal injury negotiator is not as crafted as a commercial defense attorney when it comes to finalizing a settlement. And, when the law firm handles cases continually with the same insurance company, the opportunity to make settlement offers in groups is also available.

These firm can settle multiple cases for less money while processing more claims, and the insurance company gets a lower total payout in settlements. The real problem with this is that the client is clearly the one losing when this happens. Having a personal independent lawyer means that your case will be negotiated by an experienced legal professional who understands how insurance adjusters think and operate. Bad faith often abounds when high value claims are being settled and contested strongly. You will need a proven professional who is focused on your case movement and will keep you updated.

When a private law firm represent a client personally, they take the necessary time to fight for the highest settlement that is entitled to the client.

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Insurance Adjuster Tactics

Insurance companies use different operational models, but all are focused on reducing settlements and even case dismissal when they think they have a reason to deny a claim. Actually, initially denying claims is common practice with some law firms that prefer litigation when it is even remotely necessary.

Other companies are looking to settle the case for less than the value of a policy and keep the claim out of court. If the plaintiff does not settle for less, then the tricks insurance companies use is to drag the claim out as long as possible until a mandatory court date. For settlement mills this is not a problem, as they are always settling cases in various locations within the firm and cash flow may be the objective.

Having an independent legal representative means that your case is receiving the proper attention and the insurance company is not dealing in bad faith as standard business operation, which can result in additional negligence claims. A settlement mill will not file this type of case commonly if they deal with the bad faith insurance company on a regular basis.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is the legal doctrine that even those who are injured in an accident may have contributed to the mishap. Reasonable personal assumption of risk can make a major difference in a settlement negotiation, and this is surely where the insurance company adjusters will direct their defense after a duty of care is proven. All parties in a personal injury claim are assessed on contribution to causation and given a comparative negligence percentage.

Many times a settlement mill will not be aggressive in this determination. And, insurance companies will always want significant input concerning the clients comparative negligence because the higher the percentage of the claimant, the lower the settlement amount. Comparative negligence percentage is how most settlement mills justify settling a case low in many instances, and having an independent representative means that your case will be argued strongly in this area that impacts the value of every personal injury claim.

Even when a person is 99% at fault they can still receive 1% of the total damages on a claim in Arizona, but the lower the rating of the injured plaintiff, the higher the settlement amount. Your independent personal injury lawyer can focus on this rating in negotiation.

Going to Trial with a Settlement Mill

Most settlement mills will use television and even radio as a format for advertising, and many of these firms have large advertising budgets. There is no way of estimating how many cases they may be representing at any one time, or how long it has been since they have taken a case to an actual trial. An experienced and professional trial attorney will always be willing to take the case before a jury when the long-term damages are justified and could include punitive damages. This is where personal injury claims can be maximized when the plaintiff’s legal counsel is willing and prepared to take a case to trial to ensure his client gets an equitable settlement. Insurance companies do not want this to happen if there is a potential for a full damage award, and often will want to settle immediately prior to actually going to court.


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