First Settlement Offer

Clients often ask, “Should I accept the first settlement offer in a personal injury case?” Watch this video to learn why that’s never a good idea.

Question:

Should I ever accept the first settlement offer in a personal injury case?

Answer:

Once we obtain the necessary opinions regarding a client’s injury, we will move as fast as we can against the insurance company to try to resolve your case. I often call that stage one. We’ll send to them what’s called a settlement demand or a position statement. In that statement, we will roundtable what we believe the value of your case is between attorney Patrykus, attorney Laufenberg, and you and I, and then we’re going to send it out to the insurance company. Insurance companies commonly get back to us within 30, to 60, to 90 days. When they do get back to us, we often expect a lower offer than what would be acceptable on your case, and that’s why I call it stage one.

In a normal injury case, I’m going to want to have four, five or six settlement conferences with that insurance adjuster before I can tell my client that I believe we’re at the top of their range. It’s at that point that we’ll have another roundtable of your case, in which we will determine whether or not the high end of the adjuster’s evaluation of your case falls into what’s fair. What’s fair may not be what our clients always think is fair, but that’s where trust has to come in. We may think your case is worth more than you think it’s worth. We may have to explain to you why your case may be worth what it’s worth; but the most important thing when you’re with an experienced lawyer is that you’re going to know how your case is valued and why it’s valued where it is.

The other thing is we’re not going to accept the offer of an insurance company if we don’t believe the offer is fair. With that in mind, we often file a lawsuit. We may enter what we call stage two. Once we file the lawsuit, because we have experience both with the court system that we’re working in and due to the fact that we often know the defense counsel on the case, if there’s no issues in the case, there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t again start up settlement negotiations. It’s for those reasons, because we know there may be additional offers, increased offers down the road on your case, that we would never accept early offers of settlement in our clients’ injury claims.


If you have been seriously injured in an accident in Wisconsin, you may have questions about accepting the first settlement offer in your personal injury case.
Contact Keberle, Patrykus & Laufenberg, LLP, today to consult with an experienced Washington County personal injury attorney.
We can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.

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