Why You Should Avoid Settlement Mills
Injured accident victims in Florida have many attorneys to choose from. The choice of attorney will in large part determine the amount of compensation you receive. Though no victim should be without an attorney, some law firms are better than others.
If you have watched television recently, you have probably seen a few advertisements from settlement mills. These are personal injury law firms that rely on a high volume of cases to generate profits for the firm.
At Earnhart Law, we provide a level of attention to each case that no settlement mill can match. Contact one of our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers for more information about how we can help you.
Settlement Mills: Public Presence & High Volume of Cases
Settlement mills have some features that are common to all of them. For example, these firms advertise on TV at all hours of the day and even place ads in newspapers. They take practically any case that comes in the door and seek to get the fastest settlement possible. That’s why they are called “mills.” Just as a pulp and paper mill churns out uniform products at high speed, personal injury settlement mills run through hundreds of cases in rote fashion.
Not every law firm that advertises on television is a mill, of course. And some firms are busier than others. But settlement mills prioritize profits over quality. They often employ armies of paralegals and case managers to perform most of the daily work on a case. This helps the mill keep its costs low, which means the partners who own the firm reap larger profits.
When you meet with a law firm for a consultation, you should find out who will work on your case—an actual lawyer or a paraprofessional without a law degree.
Settlement Mills Offer Few Advantages
Many mills give the impression that their large staff and experience allow them to settle cases quickly. In reality, the opposite is often true. Because these firms rely on non-lawyers to do much of the work, the case moves at a snail’s pace. Non-lawyers often make errors that a lawyer needs to correct. Or the paralegal doesn’t know what evidence is most probative, so an attorney needs to ask for a continuance to help build up the case.
Settlement mills can also leave more money on the table when it comes to negotiating. They fail to find the most probative evidence promptly, which decreases the value of a claim.
Insurance Carriers Love Settlement Mills
An interesting study published 10 years ago in the Stanford Law Review investigated settlement mills. The author found out that many insurance carriers actually breathe a huge sigh of relief when they see settlement mills on the other side of the table. Some insurers even refer injured victims to a settlement mill to help with a claim. Why? Because these firms rarely take a claim to court. Instead, they focus solely on settlement.
This attitude harms clients. Of course, not every case should go to trial. If possible, a settlement is ideal. Going to trial carries a risk that the injured victim will lose. However, if the defendant or his insurer will not meet sensible demands for fair compensation, sometimes the only choice is to file a lawsuit. Doing so shows the insurance carrier you are serious about getting justifiable compensation for a client.
We Provide Individual Attention and Compassionate Advice
Earnhart Law continues to practice law the only way it should be—by providing an unmatched level of individual attention. Please call us today at 561-265-2220 to schedule a free consultation.