FOUR TIPS TO AVOID INSURANCE COMPANY “SETTLEMENT MILLS”
Local TV channels are full of commercials put out by personal injury lawyers that make bold statements about getting you a settlement check. They use catchy jingles, gimmicks, animations, and even their phone numbers are memorable. The fact is, oftentimes, these lawyers run what are known as settlement mills that don’t fight aggressively for their clients and aim for settlements instead. So, what is a settlement mill?
A settlement mill is a law firm that processes personal injury claims in large quantities and gets payouts from insurers for less than their value. The law firm takes your case, then gives it to a paralegal, or farms it out to an affiliated law office. A settlement mill doesn’t push for a proper settlement amount on your behalf and may avoid going to trial altogether. You ultimately get poor legal representation, along with less money for your injuries. Here are some tips to help you avoid settlement mills so you can get fair treatment and just compensation for your injuries.
Avoid Law Firms With Excessive Advertising
All law firms advertise to find clients, but some are more aggressive than others and promote endlessly through all forms of media. Getting commercials made and aired in a specific time slot is costly even if it’s on a local TV channel. Heavy advertising campaigns are a sign that the law firm processes a large number of claims to fund their advertising budget.
Look for Case Results on the Website
Law firms usually publish successful case results on their websites to show the kind of results they get for their clients. The case results state if the case was settled out of court or if the law firm went to court and had a bench or jury trial along with the dollar amount of the settlement. A settlement mill will have fewer court cases due to the fact the mill settles with insurers out of court a majority of the time.
Makes Statements That Claims are Settled Quickly
Settlement mills typically claim that they can get your case resolved fast. What that really means is that the insurance companies and the law firm work with each other to settle the case quickly without going to court. The actual merits of the claim are usually overlooked in favor of a fast settlement. That’s good for both the insurer and law firm, but not good for you because you lose out on a settlement that’s in alignment with your injuries.
Minimal Contact With a Lawyer
People frequently report that the only time they talked to a lawyer at a settlement mill was during the consultation, or when they were contacted about their settlement. All other contact was through a paralegal, who was handling their case. Paraprofessionals are qualified to perform certain duties as part of a lawsuit, but they aren’t expected to understand the nuances of personal injury law.
How to Pick the Best Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Claim
Choosing the right lawyer for your claim is key to increasing the odds that you’ll get a settlement that’s in line with your injuries. Research is key before you pick the best personal injury lawyer possible. Ask around for referrals from friends and family, read through the law firm’s website and find out how consultations are handled.
You want a lawyer who is prepared to fight on your behalf and will not say yes to lowball settlements; you want DeZao Law. At DeZao Law, we fight for our clients and represent them to the fullest extent. To learn more schedule a free consultation, call DeZao Law at (973) 358-6134.