Clients sometimes ask our Vancouver car accident lawyer about the possibility of settling a case early if mental health issues are present. However, the prospects for a quick resolution are generally not favorable. Various factors affect the insurance company’s willingness to accept an early settlement.
The Type of Car Accident Case and the Possibility of an Early Settlement
By the time you speak with our Vancouver car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit, cases usually include an insurance claim. An attorney is likely not involved until the case has reached the point where a lawsuit is submitted. Prior to this, your lawyer is usually trying to negotiate with the claims representatives. Insurance adjusters do not understand the nuances of emotional trauma or mental anguish after a car accident. They simply do not have the expertise to properly evaluate your claim. For this reason, the adjuster is likely to minimize the damages that you suffered and will generally always reduce the value of your case at this stage. Insurance companies use a specific formula to determine claim value. However, emotional trauma and mental injuries do not fit neatly into their predetermined categories. Instead, they are used to evaluate physical injuries. For example, if a person struggles with agoraphobia and cannot even leave the house due to overwhelming fear, a settlement based on physical indicators alone will not make sense. Physical and emotional injuries vary greatly from person to person. One of the key factors when assessing the weakness or strength of a case is the credibility of the victim. However, this information cannot be properly communicated in a settlement demand letter. Your personal injury lawyer in Vancouver might provide additional educational material to the claims representative in order to convince him or her of the value of the case. Even so, the claims adjuster will not understand the seriousness of the claims and the impact on your daily life. In addition, he or she will probably not have the authority to offer a settlement unless our Vancouver car accident lawyer has questioned you and compared your story with the official police reports. The claims representative will want to review the results of any psychiatric or psychological testing. Even if an adjuster believes your story and agrees to submit the claim, he or she will face major challenges when trying to convince upper management of the value of your case unless you have gone through the formal discovery process of a lawsuit. With few exceptions, you should not look for an early settlement if you have suffered serious mental health injuries. These exceptions include:
- Motivation by the insurance company to provide a fair offer
- Your insistence on a quick settlement despite the low offer or
- A low policy limit with minimal coverage.
Call Our Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer
Our personal injury lawyer in Vancouver at the Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff can provide you with further information about negotiating an early settlement in a case. Call us at (360) 693-2919 today.