When tragedy strikes because of a negligent driver, taking that person to court could also cost you time and energy. Courtroom litigation takes exhaustive amounts of time and effort which could be better spent focusing on recovery. If court does not seem like a good idea for you or your case, there are other means to seek compensation. Settling outside of court spares all parties lengthy courtroom proceedings and could remedy a case in a relatively short amount of time.
Fortunately, there have been many cases that avoid court altogether. Settling the Toledo rear-end accident was one such case where all parties were more willing to seek a resolution outside of court. If you feel as though your claim may follow a similar course of action, an experienced car accident attorney could help you toward that settlement.
Initially, the victim’s attorneys did not take any steps to attempt resolution outside of court in Toledo prior to filing a lawsuit because the extent of the damages had yet to have been fully determined. After filing a lawsuit and doing discovery, the attorneys and client agreed with the opposing counsel to hire a respected private mediator to mediate the case once the case was ready for evaluation.
After hiring a mediator, and prior to the actual mediation, the counsel of the victim had sent a demand package to the opposing representatives which included all medical records, reports, economic damages, and future impact on the victim and the victim’s family emotionally, physically, and economically.
The negotiation process unfolded with an additional demand for the policy limits under the insurance company and the mediator bringing back counter offers until we reached a win-win resolution and a number that both sides could live with.
Eventually, however, an out-of-court settlement was reached.
After a long mediation with the private mediator, all parties were able to reach a resolution as far as the personal injury portion of the claim was concerned. At that point in time, the worker’s compensation claim had yet to reach resolution. Later on, attorneys did a direct negotiation with the employer and employer’s representative and were able to settle the underlying worker’s compensation claim. However, this took time.
Attorneys assisted the client in the negotiation process by explaining the process, meeting with the victim on a regular basis, meeting with their spouse and kids on a regular basis, providing them with copies of all the documentation, giving them copies of all of the different reports and documents, explaining the process in detail, and working as a team throughout the process to explain all the legal options. For cases like the Toledo rear-end motor vehicle collision, it is critical for victims to be kept in the loop at all stages of their cases. Having a lawyer who communicates should never be underestimated in value.
One of the victim’s team’s major concerns was working to reduce the amount of money that would be owe to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Typically, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation wants to be paid back all of the benefits that they paid in the process. In this case, the client was still undergoing treatment and still getting future lost wages at the time during the settlement process.
They actually wanted more money than they paid out at the time of the settlement. There were extensive negotiations with the assistant attorney general in which the victim’s team attempted to reach a number that was substantially less than what the insurance reps wanted. There victim’s attorneys were then faced with two options: to request more compensation from the personal injury claim to offset the workers’ compensation pay-backs or reducing the pay-back for the workers’ compensation claim to be equal to the personal injury claim’s awards.
As a part of the settlement, the victim’s attorneys offered to drop any and all claims against the personal injury wrongdoer if they were to pay for the workers’ compensation paybacks, past and future.
In the later negotiation when the team settled the client’s workers’ compensation claim, it had an agreement in which we gave up the workers’ compensation claim. The client gave up any rights to monies for pain and suffering and inconvenience which is a permanent partial disability under the workers’ compensation portion of the claim. Perhaps more importantly, the client gave up their employment. They resigned as a police officer and that was something that was crucial to the former employer so they could hire a replacement.
The client was comfortable with the settlement. Typically, a good settlement is when both sides walk away a little bit upset. The client was happy with the settlement because it gave him a large enough amount of money to move back to their home town, purchase a house, and attempt to go into another employment situation that would be able to meet their restrictions.
In this case, it took about 30 days for the victim’s attorneys to sign all the paperwork with the attorney general, the trucking company, and client. It was after this that the victim received the monetary award. The additional compensation for giving up workers’ compensation claim was received three or four months later. That took about 45 days for the paperwork to be approved under Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law.
Other than the time period, there were no major issues with receiving this settlement award. All the attorneys did a good job of spelling out all of the various issues, and everybody was open and honest and lived up to their word.
In this case, there was no chance of the settlement being overturned. The team of attorneys had a written understanding of the agreement and neither of the parties attempted to back-out. As far as the worker’s compensation settlement, an agreement is filed with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and either party has a time period to withdraw their acceptance of the agreement. In this case neither party withdrew their acceptance of the agreement. After a 30-day period the agreement was approved by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Settlement agreements are rarely overturned in Toledo. Parties have attempted to overturn an agreement, but it is very rare.
It is difficult to overturn a settlement agreement in Toledo. To overturn a settlement agreement, people would have to show that there was never a meeting of the minds between the two parties as far as what the specific terms of the agreement were or they would have to prove that one of the parties committed fraud in the procurement of the agreement. Those are high standards. Typically, unless they show some sort of fraud, it is exceptionally difficult to overturn one of those type of agreements.
Negotiations are a critical component of all claims that do not wish to go to court. However, settling a case is rarely easy. Fortunately for the client, settling the Toledo rear-end accident was made easier because the victim enlisted the help of an experienced car accident attorney with experience working with workers’ compensation claims.
If you feel as though taking a claim to court is not in your best interests, settling could be an option you may want to consider. Contacting an attorney who could help explain the settlement process would be the next step toward taking action against a negligent party and working toward a settlement. Call today for a confidential consultation.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC