I’ve posted something about this in the past, but it’s really timely so I’m mentioning it again.
I just got something from a defense attorney about an insurance company having a settlement day. This happens every year at this time where insurance companies are inviting lawyers to come and try to settle cases. Cases that they previously said they’d never pay a penny on will magically settle. Cases where you’ve been $30,000.00 apart on the value of the case will suddenly find our demands met or really close to it.
They want to settle and they want to do it fast. But why?
Many insurance adjusters get bonuses based on how many files that they close. Their motto is “A good file is a closed file” and since it’s not their money, if they can settle a case within a set amount of settlement authority, they often don’t care if it’s a great deal for us and not so for them. They are judged based on cases moved. So while they don’t give away the farm so to speak, they do suddenly become agreeable and more available. In fact, they’ll often set up tables at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in Chicago and hope that us lawyers will stop by.
They do this one cases where they have hired defense attorneys and cases where they haven’t. A bunch of these adjusters are looking for as big of a bonus as possible before they quit and start working elsewhere or receive an internal promotion. So while you are focused on your case and we are focused on your case, they are focused on their personal goals. And that can really work to your advantage.
Of course you only want to settle if it’s for a very fair amount and if the time is right to settle. If you are still getting TTD benefits or medical care, it’s not the right time. Good settlements can happen at all times of the year of course, it’s just now is clearly the best time to do it. Just don’t do it because you’d like the case to be over with. Do it because it’s a great offer and the time to settle is appropriate as told to you by a lawyer who knows what they are talking about.
If you have an attorney who has told you that it takes a couple of years to settle once you are all better and back to work, let me be clear by telling you that they are lazy and full of it. Push them hard to seek out a settlement now or if you don’t feel like they will fight to get a good offer, fire them and hire someone new who will look out for you. As long as a settlement offer hasn’t been made yet, getting a new attorney is almost never a problem.