Negotiating with an Insurance Company on Rear End Louisville Car Crash

Negotiating with an Insurance Company on Rear End Louisville Car Crash

Pre-Lawsuit Negotiation

I wrapped up a litigation case this morning.  Rear end collision with medical expenses of $15,000.00.  The initial offer was $5,500.00 (exclusive of PIP meaning add $10,000.00 on each offer below for one insurance company paying back the other).  The insurance adjuster told me that my client wasn’t hurt as bad as he claimed.  I asked the adjuster for his explanation and was told he just believed that.  To supplement the evidence we sent my clients prior records.  The thought was they would look at it and see he had no priors.  The adjuster stuck with his story and offered $6,000.00.  I did not counter.

Filing of a Lawsuit

I filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  In the Commonwealth you can serve an out of state defendant by serving paperwork on the Secretary of State.  When this happens an insurance company jumps in to defend the claim.  Since the Defendant moved to Florida we had this option and took it.

Litigation

Defense lawyers then took my client deposition.  This was followed by a $9,000.00 increased offer.  Declined.  As we got closer and closer to trial the insurance company kept offering more money.  Before a “independent” medical examination they offered $12,000.00.  After the deposition/cross examination of their examination doctor the offer increased to $18,000.00.  We settled the case this morning for $24,000.00.

Thoughts

In my estimation the reason for low-ball offers is that other lawyers are taking them.  I’ve heard of big law firms that do not litigate cases.  In my perspective you shouldn’t be operating an injury firm if you aren’t litigating or more important taking cases to trial.  I can say that the lawyer handling this case for the defense knew what he was doing.  This was just an insurance company trying to throw their weight around.

They probably could have offered $17,500 from the get-go to resolve this case.  Instead they paid lawyers for two years and a medical doctor $3,900.00 for an evaluation.

Then they paid my client $24,000.00 a month or so before trial.

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