Deciding When to Accept (or Reject) a Settlement Offer in Illinois, Whether Through Negotiation or Mediation

settlementstick-300x276There may be many different possible ways to resolve your Illinois personal injury action. You can litigate the case all the way to a verdict, you can work out a settlement with the other side, or you may achieve a settlement through an alternative dispute resolution process like mediation. In order to protect yourself, you need to make sure that you understand your case in great detail, including the monetary value of your case. Without this knowledge, you may fall into the trap of accepting a low-ball offer to settle your case. Retaining knowledgeable Chicago car accident counsel to represent you is one important way to make sure that your interests will be properly safeguarded, whether through trial, mediation, or any other process.

The case of Keenan, reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, was an example of how mediation can fail because the defendant does not submit an appropriate offer. According to Keenan, Anne rear-ended him in the town of Shiloh, causing him to suffer significant injuries. When you’re injured in an auto accident, there are several steps that are involved in the process to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered. Whether you want to settle or go to trial, whether you seek a courtroom resolution or an outcome achieved through alternative dispute resolution, knowledgeable legal representation will know how to handle any of these scenarios.

The defense asked for the two sides to participate in mediation. Mediation can be a useful way to reach a fair and beneficial outcome without having to go through everything that is inherently involved in a full trial. Some of the keys to a successful mediation generally involve a strong knowledge of what your case is worth (so that you don’t agree to a settlement that is too small) and an opponent who participates in the process in a serious manner.

Anne did not participate in the two sides’ mediation in good faith, according to Keenan’s counsel. Allegedly, the defense offer to settle the case was less than half the sum total of Keenan’s past medical expenses alone. When situations like that take place, sometimes it becomes necessary simply to reject an offer and allow a mediation to fail, if the other side isn’t serious about making a fair offer.

Ultimately, that decision to decline the settlement offer in mediation and proceed to trial resulted in a six-figure judgment for Keenan. The jury awarded him $48,200 for past medical expenses, $14,000 for future medical bills, $25,000 for pain and suffering, and $20,500 for loss of a normal life.

In your personal injury case, you can only be equipped to decide whether or not to settle if you know what your case is worth. This is just one of numerous areas in which skilled counsel can help. The diligent Chicago car accident attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck have been effectively representing personal injury clients for many years and are equipped to advocate for you at every step along the way. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

A Chicago Driver Receives a $4.75M Settlement After Her Collision With a Municipal Garbage Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, May 10, 2018

Illinois Appeals Court Affirms Judgment and $1.8M Damages Award for Family of Deceased Bicyclist, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, July 13, 2017