When speaking with or meeting with a potential client for the first time, I often get asked how the client begins the process of suing the at fault party (also known as the tortfeasor). Almost always, my response is that filing a lawsuit is generally not the first step in the claims process. In fact, unless there is a statute of limitations issue, the claim has already been denied, or there are other case specific issues, the first step is to simply notify the at fault party that you are making a claim and ask that it be turned over to the tortfeasor’s insurance company. At that point, the insurance company and its assigned adjuster will take over the claim and begin their own investigation, requesting certain documentation from the claimant’s attorney in order to perform their evaluation. In the case where the tortfeasor is self-insured, a third party administrator is often hired by the tortfeasor and will serve the same purpose as an insurance claims adjuster. The third party administrator will then provide their evaluation of the claim and recommendations as to settlement to the tortfeasor, and will often perform the settlement negotiations as well.
If after reviewing your claim and discussing the liability, injuries, and other case issues with your attorney, the insurance company feels that your claim merits a monetary settlement they will negotiate with your attorney to reach an agreeable settlement. However, filing a lawsuit- or suing someone, is the next step when no agreeable settlement can be reached. This occurs for a variety of reasons, either the tortfeasor has denied all liability,the torfeasor admits some liability but maintains the claimant is comparatively negligent absolving his liability, the tortfeasor admits liability but disputes the injuries and/or causation, or the offer is simply too low and will not compensate the injured person. In this case, it is up to the attorney to discuss the claim with the client and determine if filing a lawsuit is the best way to proceed.
The Denver personal injury attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman have over 30 years experience and can help guide you through both the claims and litigation process. We know the importance of trying to resolve your case without having to file a lawsuit, but we are also prepared and ready to go to bat for our clients in court if necessary. Call the Kidneigh & Kaufman Denver accident lawyers today for a FREE consultation. 303-393-6666
Filed under: Articles by Jennifer Crichton
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