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Getting the highest settlement after a car accident

July 13, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

Steven Gursten will teach Michigan injury lawyers how to maximize settlements and write winning settlement demands for Michigan Association for Justice seminar

Today I’ll be speaking to approximately 50 Michigan attorneys at the Michigan Association for Justice New Lawyers Workshop in Southfield. The seminar theme is “Effective Settlement Demand and Initial Pleading Practice.”

My topic is teaching lawyers how to get the highest possible settlement after a car accident. A lot of my time will cover maximizing recoveries by learning how to write effective settlement demands – ones that work with overworked and cynical insurance company adjusters.

As I’ve said before, there are no shortcuts or magic tricks to getting more money for clients who are hurt in car accidents and truck accidents. But there are better ways to present this information so that your client can recover the full amount of compensation that he or she is owed due to personal or corporate negligence.

Below are three points I will cover in my presentation that really can help you achieve the highest auto accident settlements possible for your clients:

  1. Show how the injury has impaired your client’s life. It is up to us attorneys to show juries how auto accident injuries have really impaired our clients’ lives — especially because computer claims software programs like Colossus being used by the auto insurance industry are creating a decrease in the value of automobile accident personal injury cases by low-balling settlement offers.
  2. Prove and document additional personal injuries, like TBI and chronic pain. Personal injuries from car accidents don’t speak for themselves. Inexperienced attorneys often overlook devastating injuries, such as chronic pain and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Proving and documenting these injuries is critical to establishing the full extent of your client’s disability.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try cases. Being an attorney who is known to try cases will make a substantial difference in your client’s settlement. Studies and bad faith litigation against Allstate and other auto insurance companies show that a lawyer’s reputation as someone willing to take a case to trial can increase the settlement value up to four times over the same lawsuit handled by an attorney who isn’t known for being willing to go to court and try a case. It’s ironic, but you have to try cases to be able to settle them for maximum value.

The Michigan Association for Justice (formerly the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association), is the state’s largest organization of injury attorneys and consumer protection lawyers. MAJ represents the needs of accident victims and victims of consumer fraud and insurance company abuse.

– Steve Gursten is head of Michigan Auto Law. He is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past co-chair of the Michigan Association for Justice Automobile Accident No-Fault Committee. Steve has received the highest auto or truck verdict in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to published reports by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our Michigan personal injury lawyers today.

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