When settlement discussions begin will depend on the size and complexity of a case. Larger cases may progress further before negotiations begin as neither side wants to appear overeager or desperate to resolve a matter.
After your personal injury case has been filed, your attorney and the defense will begin pretrial investigations. This is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys will begin gathering evidence and may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions.
Keep in mind that it is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.
In larger, more complex cases, such as on the job accidents or commercial trucking accidents, defense attorneys may wait for the plaintiff’s attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.