My mom hired a lawyer for an injury accident that happened in Sept 2010. A month and a half ago we received a letter saying in 30 to 45 days we would receive the settlement amount. But now we hear the insurance company is refusing to pay and we probably have to go to court. I have a few questions:
--Will they try to give us less than the original settlement amount or could we possibly get more?
--Does this process take a long time?
--And why were we sent a letter saying that we would receive the settlement in 30 to 45 days if now they are refusing to pay?
When they sent us that letter I thought it meant the settlement was already negotiated. Anyway, we'd appreciate any info you can give. Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Injury Settlement Negotiations...":
When a case goes to court any previous settlement offer or even discussion of a settlement offer are gone. In fact any mention of a settlement offer or agreement is prohibited during a trial. In the State of Florida the average waiting time for a lawsuit to actually be heard by the Court is anywhere from 1 to 3 years.
From the facts you present we are unable to determine whether it was your attorney or the insurance company who sent you a letter indicating the case would be settled within 30 to 45 days.
We will presume the letter was from your attorney. Although it seems strange your attorney would send you such a letter and then inform you that the case will have to be tried, it is entirely possible at the time she notified you she believed a settlement was imminent.
Since that time it is possible the insurance company withdrew the offer. Their withdrawal could have been based on several factors, including, but not limited to, your attorney's decision that the offer was not high enough.
We will again presume “they” is your attorney. When she sent you the letter regarding the settlement offer she did so because at the time the facts and circumstances led her to the conclusion the settlement offer would materialize within 30 to 45 days.
Obviously the person who can best explain all of this to you is your attorney. It would certainly inure to your benefit to make an appointment and ask your attorney to explain the confusion about the apparent settlement offer and litigation.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.