How Is A Personal Injury Claim Settled? The Art of The Deal Once You Hire A Charleston Car Accident Lawyer.

Posted by Jay McMillian | Oct 31, 2017 | 0 Comments


In previous articles on this site, I have discussed the process and the steps that an individual must take immediately following an auto accident to insure that all the relevant information and evidence is able to get to your auto accident attorney once you choose to hire one. 
Today, I want to shed some light on what I, specifically as an auto accident attorney, can bring to the table once the case reaches my desk and I begin to "work the case." What specifically does an auto accident attorney do and what principles are followed to insure that you, the victim, get top dollar for your case. 


The demand letter, in its purest form, is a letter written by your auto accident attorney that will layout your case for compensation. Any complete and competent demand letter will include the following items:

  • The telling of the story . . . the explanation of the chain of events that led to the accident and your injuries.
  • A detailed explanation of all treatments you received by all treating health care professionals
  • A detailed explanation of all diagnosed injuries that you suffered as a result of the auto accident
  • A detailed itemization of all doctor's bills resulting from the injuries sustained in the auto accident
  • A detailed explanation of all future medical treatments that will be required as a result of the injuries
  • A list of all dates that were missed from work and the amount of lost wages 
  • A description of any loss of social interaction and loss of consortium as a result of the injuries
  • A demand for a specific dollar amount that is necessary to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering
  • Ask for a response within 30 days of receipt of the demand letter

Along with the demand letter, I always will send along the following information to the insurance company:

  1. Copy of the police report (especially if the other driver is at-fault)
  2. Copy of all medical bills from all treating health care providers
  3. Copy of all medical records from all treating health care providers
  4. List of potential witnesses
  5. Letter from your employer detailing missed days from work and lost wages
  6. Photographs from the scene (if available)

The demand letter serves two very important functions in how I handle auto accident cases. First, this is the formal document that opens the negotiation and lays out the case and how much money I think the case is worth. This is the first time I get to "spill the beans" to the insurance company concerning the auto accident. Secondly, and just as important, my demand letters tend to be very thorough because the process of drafting the demand letter allows me to go ahead and approach your case as if it is going to trial. The drafting of the demand letter is the first time I as the auto-accident attorney will sit down and take a comprehensive look at all of the evidence at one sitting. Often times, as I am drafting the demand letter, I have a legal pad on the table to make case notes in preparation for trial. I can begin to develop the theory of the case as I work through the demand letter.  I always draft the demand letter from the point of view that I am preparing for trial.

The McMillian Law Firm is known for compassionate and effective legal representation. Call us now at (843) 900-1306 or use the online form to schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation today.


As is typical with any negotiation, the settlement process with the insurance adjuster can be tedious and unpredictable. It is true that vast majority of cases settle prior to trial, the place in time where the settlement is achieved can have wild deviations. I've cases settle upon the first offer by the insurance company for policy limits within 30 days of delivery of the demand letter. I've had cases settle within a week of the lawsuit being filed. I've had cases settle at arbitration. I've had cases settle in the lobby of the courthouse. I've had cases go to trial. The length of time it will take to settle your case will be totally dependent upon the offers made by the insurance adjuster in direct relation to the strength of your case. 

The biggest mistake made during the settlement process is when an injured client decides to settle to early. Though as your auto accident attorney I will advise against accepting a "low ball" offer, the final decision is always in the hands of the client. The insurance company will usually construct an initial offer based upon their knowledge that the client needs the money urgently. Considering that an auto accident victim usually faces a mountain of medical bills, past due bills, and needs income replacement immediately, the insurance company will discount a legitimate claim to bait the client into a quick and cheap settlement.

There is an old saying that "desperate times warrant desperate measures."  My job as an auto accident lawyer is not to make the decision for you but to help you make informed decisions. I am here to help you weigh both the temporary gain versus the monetary loss if you lack patience. My experience as an auto accident attorney lets me provide you with "good intelligence" that in the vast majority of cases holding a for few extra weeks or a month or so can literally put thousands of more dollars into your pocket. 

Patience is a virtue in the settlement process of an auto accident injury claim. As an auto accident attorney, my job is to make sure that you have completed all necessary medical treatments and / or have accounted for all future treatments and needs that you will require in the future. Patience allows not only the body to heal, but for me to do a full accounting of all your damages and make sure you are compensated fully for your injuries. Any rush to settlement, particularly in any cases that involve certain muscular or soft tissue injuries, will always put the client in a position of accruing future medical bills that must now be paid out of pocket since the client would not wait the few weeks and has signed a release to get a quick payment. 

My job is to walk this path with you, to allow you to make informed decisions . . . Let me, as your auto accident attorney, be your guide through this stressful and divergent process!!


Contact Jay McMillian at The McMillian Law Firm. Once you have obtained legal representation on your matter, the insurance company must cease direct contact and deal with your lawyer instead. Contact me as soon as possible so that I may conduct a site visit of the accident and begin to obtain witness statements, police reports, and all relevant materials I need to build your case towards an acceptable settlement or trial. 

It is never too early to contact me! Each and every day is a day the insurance company will try and short-change your claim. I am available for home visits, hospital visits, nights and weekends, just let me know what works for you. 

If you have been involved in a car accident and live in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, James Island, Johns Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Walterboro, Folly Beach, or any of the other fine communities of the South Carolina Low Country, contact The McMillian Law Firm now!! 843-900-1306 or email at [email protected]


About the Author

Jay McMillian

Background I chose to build my law practice in the areas of Car Accident and Personal Injury because these areas of the law are the most accurate reflection of my values and my upbringing. Being the son of a breakfast hostess and a retired US Army Sargent turned construction worker, the values instilled upon me by my par...


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The McMillian Law Firm

Attorney Jay McMillian operates a solo practice with an emphasis on two core principles. First, to provide competent legal advice in the areas of Auto Accident and Personal Injury Law to the people he is proudest to serve, the people of the South Carolina Low Country. Second, to provide the most personal and intimate service to each and every client and give them the attention and compassion that they deserve while going through the stress and strain of negotiating or litigating an injury claim. If you live in Charleston, Summerville, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, James Island, Walterboro, Moncks Corner, and you or someone you love has been injured by the negligence of another, please call Jay at The McMillian Law Firm today.

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