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What Is a Settlement Mill and How to Avoid One

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Lawsuits on September 21, 2018

When you’re looking for a personal injury attorney, you should always search to find the best fit for your case. While looking over different firms, there’s a chance you’ll come across a “settlement mill.” These firms tend to spend a lot on advertising and often appear to have high success rates. However, this is because they focus on volume and speed rather than getting the best results for their clients.

How Does a Settlement Mill Work?

A settlement mill operates by taking on cases with the intention of resolving them before heading to court. As the name suggests, they instead aim to resolve claims in the settlement stage, by reaching an agreement with the opposing party’s insurance company. A settlement mill will also often pressure clients into accepting low-ball compensation amounts and charge higher contingency fees if a client wants to take the case to court.

A settlement mill may sound like a good option for some people with minor or questionable injuries. Insurance companies like working with these law firms because they avoid taking cases to court, where a high payout is much more likely. When a serious injury is involved that could lead to a large amount of compensation through trial, a settlement mill will instead agree to a minimal payout just to move onto the next client.

Settlement mills make their money through handling several cases in short order. Many times, clients don’t even see an attorney; instead, they work with a paralegal through the whole process. After all, a settlement is guaranteed compensation for a client, rather than the uncertainty of a trial. Insurance companies also win, because a settlement mill can save them from having to pay a large amount to someone with a serious injury.

On the other end, clients of settlement mills often lose in the equation because a settlement amount, no matter how fast it may be, is often less than the full compensation to which they have a legal right. Insurance companies agreeing to pay even on questionable claims to keep settlement mills in business can make insurance costs higher.

How to Avoid a Settlement Mill

A settlement mill may seem appealing if you need a quick payout for your damages, but these law firms are not there for you. Instead, they prioritize their interest, which is making money by quickly resolving cases. To avoid these settlement mills, you should take your time selecting a personal injury attorney.

When researching firms, be sure to investigate an attorney’s background. You should also research a firm’s history with cases like yours, as well as check if there are any complaints against the attorney or firm with the local bar. If you notice routinely low settlement amounts, especially on high-damage cases, it may be a red flag.

Most attorneys offer free consultations. Take this time to interview the attorney, see how they assess your case, and learn more about your legal rights. If you don’t speak with a Tampa accident lawyer personally during your consultation, be sure to ask when you’ll be able to talk with one. A settlement mill may be reluctant to answer or may avoid the question.

If you’ve suffered injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have a right to compensation. A settlement mill can get you compensation, but it will likely not be full amount you could receive. Instead, you need a lawyer who will work with you personally, learn the details of your case, create a strategy with your best interests in mind, and fight for your rightful compensation in court if necessary. You deserve nothing less.

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