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Hakim Injury Law: Boat Accident Lawyer

Endgame: How Are Boat Accident Cases Resolved?

May 27, 2024

From the beginning, the first saga of Marvel movies leads to the big, final smackdown between Thanos and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Likewise, from the beginning, most boat accident cases, and all other personal injury cases for that matter, lead to a settlement. Out-of-court settlements resolve over 95 percent of civil cases.

Settlement is a process, not a result. The length of this process varies. Sometimes, depending on the evidence in the case and a few other factors, the defendant, who is usually an insurance company, folds faster than Superman on laundry day. Other times, the insurance company is determined to fight to the death, at least initially. Most cases are somewhere in between.

In many ways, the settlement process is a bit like high school. Students who diligently do their homework typically do well on test days. Likewise, a Los Angeles Boating Accident Attorney who does the hard work in a boat accident case usually obtains maximum compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Setting the Settlement Value

Like the asking price, the settlement value is the starting point for settlement negotiations. If the number is too high, the insurance company immediately backs off. The victim will probably settle for less if the number is too low.

Calculations begin with the medical bills. Current medical bills are usually relatively high. The average injury-related medical bill is over $100,000. The settlement value must also account for future medical expenses, such as maintenance procedures. If the settlement doesn’t include this calculation, the victims will likely be financially responsible for such costs.

We should mention California’s collateral source rule. Frequently, medical providers agree to reduce their fees in these cases. For example, a hospital might write down the private-pay cost of an MRI to the insurance reimbursement cost.

Suppose a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer reduces Tom’s medical bills from $100,000 to $75,000. In that case, he’s still entitled to the total value of the medical expenses. The insurance company cannot use Tom’s diligence in buying insurance as an excuse to reduce his compensation. Therefore, Tom could keep the additional $25,000. Some exceptions apply in some cases.

To calculate noneconomic losses, a boat accident attorney typically multiplies the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the evidence and other factors.

Informal Negotiations

Settlement negotiations usually begin once medical treatment is at least substantially complete. Otherwise, a personal injury lawyer cannot determine the amount of future medical expenses. Therefore, many boat accident cases don’t settle quickly.

Furthermore, the best boat accident evidence usually surfaces during discovery, a litigation phase that occurs late in the process. This evidence includes boat rental agreements and licensing contracts. This strong evidence puts a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer in the driver’s seat during settlement negotiations.

Formal Negotiations

Most boat accident claims are settled during mediation. Mediation is about 90 percent successful, mostly for financial reasons.

As mentioned, many insurance companies initially put up tenacious flights. However, many insurance company defense lawyers charge over $1,000 an hour. As the case slowly moves along, these costs add up quickly. So, by the end of the process, even the stubbornest insurance companies are usually ready to cut their losses.

Additionally, during mediation, both sides have a duty to negotiate in good faith. They cannot go through the motions or make a “final offer.” Since mediators have the power to make the parties sit down and talk, settlements almost always follow suit.

Mediated boat accident settlements are usually top-dollar settlements. As mentioned, the best evidence is available during mediation. Furthermore, mediated settlements are final. Instead of tying up a verdict in appeals courts, the insurance company must immediately write a check.

Consult With Our California Boat Accident Lawyers!

Boat accident victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

Credit: Photo by Midjourny

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