Whether or not you need to file a lawsuit depends on whether the party who injured you, through its insurance company, offers you a fair settlement. Sure, you could accept an unfair settlement and you avoid filing, but we encourage all of our clients who are not being treated fairly to assert their right to have their claim value assessed by a judge or jury.
Many plaintiffs are not being treated fairly. In fact, I got off the phone with an adjuster yesterday who said,"We’re only offering you $x,xxx because this is a bad economy." She may be right that it is a bad economy. But my client’s claim isn’t worth less because of a bad economy. (In fact, according to Forbes, the president of her insurance company made $6,678,148 in 2009.) She is not the only adjuster to tell me that the economy is bad so we’re offering less. And this has led to more claims being litigated. The lack of fair offers fits into one of Seattle injury attorney Karen Koehler’s responses to why people sue.
Litigation is generally a choice of last resort for many people. We try to settle claims through negotiation. Now, more than ever, we are turning to the civil court system as a solution for unfair or unreasonable settlement offers. Apparently, the bad economy is to blame for another lawsuit filed.