Q: Can I talk to the defendant directly and agree on a settlement to get payment? And how?
I have a car accident case, unlimited claim. I didn’t accept the settlement payment that the defendant offered. I planned to do a trial, but my attorney gave up my case now, so I changed my mind and want to accept the settlement by myself. So can I talk to the defendant directly and agree on a settlement to get payment? And how?
A: There is nothing that prevents direct party to party contact. If the Defendant is self represented and filed any court documents, look on those documents on the first page for his/her contact information.
A: You can do that, but the defendant's motivation to settle, now that you do not have an attorney, will be substantially less. Do not be surprised if the offer is no longer there. Also, your former attorney might be a payee on the check along with you since he may have a claim to some portion of the settlement for his fees and/or costs. Also, your health insurer and/or lien care medical providers might also be named as payees to protect them and protect the defendant/insurer from getting sued by those with a right to a portion of the settlement monies.
A: You will likely need to get in contact with the defendant's attorney. While the defendant is the individual who hit you, usually he/she will be represented by an attorney that works for the insurance company. If your attorney has substituted out of the case and you are now listed as representing yourself, you can contact the other attorney. If your attorney is still counsel of record in the case, the defense attorney will not talk to you directly until a substitution of attorney is filed listing you as pro per (i.e., representing yourself).
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