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  • Andrew Littlejohn Johnson

Car Wreck Settlement Process

Our clients who are in an automobile accident are focused on their recovery (and they should be). We have taken away all other concerns they had related to the car wreck, from dealing with the insurance company to making sure we are obtaining full value on a case. When the time comes, we send demand letters to the car insurance company. Here is how the car wreck settlement process typically works:

Prior to Settlement Negotiations

At Littlejohn Law, attorney Andrew Johnson helps move each case along prior to any settlement discussions. We prepare each case as if we are going to trial; this is the only way to be prepared for everything that could arise in a claim. Some cases require that a lawsuit be filed immediately, while others permit us to issue an offer of settlement to the insurance company prior to filing suit. This article discusses the latter situation.

In the first stages of the case, we make sure the client's treatment is going well, we research the facts, we FOIA documents related to the wreck, we research the law, we send spoliation letters, and we research the defendant(s); we then develop a case-specific plan based upon this information. Once the client has completed treatment or has reached a stage in treatment that allows us to move forward, we obtain all medical records and bills, and we compile the evidence we have been working on since the start of the case. We then draft spreadsheets showing what money is owed to which medical providers and lien holders (e.g., a health insurance company).

Finally, we meet with the client and explain why we believe the case is worth 'x' dollars. Andrew then answers all questions the clients has and shows each client what goes into their pocket based upon our calculations. When then draft a demand letter to the insurance company.

Initial Offer of Settlement and Settlement Negotiations

This demand letter is essentially our initial offer to settle the case. In some matters, our demand is structured so that the insurance company is forced to either pay the demanded amount or defend a lawsuit filed against the defendant. However, in other situations, the insurance company is in a position to negotiate the claim. Each case is different, and our demand and settlement positions rely on a multitude of factors, including the damages, the subjective case facts, the jurisdiction of the case, and the amount of reachable insurance coverage.

If the case involves negotiating the settlement, each client is fully informed of the negotiation status and the reasons for our counter-offers. This allows the client to (1) understand the end-game goal as well (2) stay apprised of everything going on in the case.

Settlement and Final Steps

Once we agree on an amount with the automobile insurance adjuster, the check is sent to our office. We deposit the check into a trust account, where it stays until we are able to issue checks for (1) outstanding medical balances and liens, (2) attorney's costs and fees, (3) other monies owed, and (4) the client's remainder. In almost all of our cases, the client obtains his/her final check after all balances are paid. In no situation will the client's check be an amount less than the attorney's fees.

Experienced South Carolina Car Wreck Attorney

Andrew has handled many car wreck cases, from a Columbia drunk driving wreck, to an Orangeburg 18-wheeler wreck, to a typical failure-to-yield case in Greenwood. If you have questions or want to confidentially discuss your matter, we are here for you. Give us a call or email Andrew so that we can get started on your case.

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