If you lost a loved one in a truck accident along I-39 near Rochelle or in some other accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you must first meet with an experienced wrongful death attorney to find out if you have a case. Once an attorney takes your case, he will investigate the accident, calculate the monetary value of your claim, and obtain the available insurance policy limits.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement
Many wrongful death cases settle out of court. In fact, to save time, your attorney may attempt to negotiate a monetary settlement with the insurance company both before and after filing your wrongful death suit. However, the insurance company may not be willing to negotiate in good faith. It may either present a lowball offer or it may not present any offer at all.
If the insurance company does present an offer, your attorney can help you to decide if it is fair. You will then have the chance to accept, reject, or counter the offer. This process can go on until both sides agree.
In addition to the more informal negotiation between the parties, judges often require both sides to go to formal mediation before they go to trial. This often results in a settlement—the mediator raises many of the issues that will come up in the trial, and both sides can see how the other side, as well as the mediator, views the case.
A settlement can happen at any time during the legal process—even if the trial has started. However, if the parties are unable to agree on a fair settlement, a jury will decide the case and award the damages.
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