What Is a Settlement Mill (and Why Shouldn’t You Work with One)?
A settlement mill is a team of lawyers that excels in settling cases quickly, as opposed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. They will take your case with no intention of ever going to trial. These lawyers make their money by settling a high volume of cases quickly. Their law offices are organized to benefit the lawyers and the insurance companies – not the injured victims they represent.
How Do Insurance Companies Benefit from Settlement Mills?
Settlement mill law firms work for the benefit of insurance companies, as well as their lawyers. Cooperation between the attorneys and insurance companies is profitable for both sides. Insurance companies like their payouts to be predictable. In addition, they get attractive discounts from settlement mills on more substantial catastrophic injury claims that would be much more costly if the case went to trial. In dealing with settlement mills, insurers can save vast sums of money on larger claims in exchange for settling consistently and cooperatively on smaller claims.
What Could Happen If a Settlement Mill Handles Your Claim?
If you have been seriously injured through someone else’s negligence, hiring a settlement mill to handle your case could be the worst decision you could make. You are likely to be treated as just another number by these lawyers, and worse still, your case is likely to settle for much less than it is worth. You need full and fair compensation for serious or catastrophic injuries. Otherwise, you and your family could be left without the resources you need and the long-term care your injuries require.
How To Recognize a Settlement Mill
A settlement mill is a high-volume personal injury practice that rarely takes a case to trial. These attorneys make their money by settling as many cases as possible, as quickly as possible. Although you may think you are dealing with a high-powered law firm, bear in mind that appearances can be deceiving. You may have landed in a settlement mill if the following occurs:
- Instead of seeing a lawyer, you are shunted off to a paralegal.
- The paralegal seems to be more concerned with meeting a quota than with helping you with your case.
- A settlement offer is reached quickly, and you feel pressured to accept it.
- The firm offers to reduce its contingency fee if you will take the settlement offer.
- The firm structures significantly higher contingency fees if you insist on going to trial.
When Can a Quick Settlement Be a Bad Thing?
- Settlement mill lawyers have no intention of going to trial and may not properly prepare your case. This can substantially affect your settlement.
- Your best chance of recovering maximum compensation may lie in going to trial. Settlement mill lawyers are not willing to try cases in court.
- Settlement mills rely on a high volume of cases to make their money. Insurance companies love them because they know these lawyers will settle for less so they can move on to the next case. When you work with a settlement mill that settles your case quickly, you may end up settling for much less than you deserve to recover for your injuries.
If you have suffered a serious personal injury, call Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation, with no time limits or restrictions. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys have been practicing for more than four decades, and our results speak for themselves. We are dedicated to pursuing full and fair compensation for the injured people we represent.
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