Is there a best time of year to settle personal injury cases?
Yes, in fact there is. The end of one calendar year, and the early part of the next is considered the best time of year to submit settlement offers to an insurer.
Based upon the book Colossus: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know (Trial Guides) insurers project their claim payments during a calendar year. As the end of the year approaches, adjustors may still have a considerable amount of that money left to settle claims. Given that case duration and inventory is tracked over time, adjustors also want to settle cases before the beginning of the next calendar year to demonstrate they efficiently settled claims during that quarter and year. Insurers regularly publicize (physically and/or digitally) office statistics on settlements and in some cases adjustors are incentivized either individually or as a team for their settlement activities. So, adjustors may be trying to achieve a goal that will improve their personal assessment, which in turn leads to salary increases or promotional opportunities.
In addition, the first month of a calendar year is also good. It is during this time that claim departments and insurers set their projections for the coming year. By paying out a large number of claims, or larger claims in January, it can provide additional money for claims over the course of the rest of the year, making settlement easier for adjustors throughout the year.
This is not to suggest you should settle every case. To get maximum case value for your clients, it is clear you must litigate some of your cases. But, if you have cases that should settle due to the facts or due to low policy limits, this time of year is when you should be submitting settlement offers to the insurer.
You should be sending as many demand letters as you can right now. If you want to maximize the value of your cases, reduce your time on the demand letters, and reduce the time between your letter and the settlement offer, use Settlement Intelligence. Our format is proven to provide adjustors the facts they need, in the order they need it, allowing adjustors to move through your cases more quickly and efficiently than those submitted by lawyers using outdated settlement methods.