Stanford Law School professor Nora Freeman Angstrom has published an investigative report” Run of the Mill Justice” in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. She has scathing remarks for what she calls “settlement mills” – law firms that are involved in the mass resolution of claims. These firms base their business – it might be a stretch to call it “practice” of the law – on taking on high volumes of accident and injury cases and rushing to settle these with insurers, often for low amounts.There is minimal interaction with the client, and the principle is to rush though cases, with barely any of these cases ending up before a jury.
These mills get most of their clients from aggressive advertisements on billboards and television. Most importantly, a settlement mill is rarely interested intaking a case to trial, and getting a fair value for the client. The report makes very interesting reading, and Angstrom does not hold back as she names law firms, including one in Georgia, that she characterized as having low jury trial rates.
It’s not often we hear a law expert openly calling out these settlement mills by name, and as Atlanta personal injury trial lawyers who believe in fighting for justice for every individual client, we agree with what she says. Not every accident case will go to a trial. Very often, clients reach favorable settlements without having to go to court. However, if a case cannot be resolved during settlement negotiations, it’s important that your Atlanta personal injury attorney be equipped with the resources, skills, preparation and expertise to take your case to trial, and win.
A settlement mill may be fine when you’re dealing with a minor injury accident claim, and need to settle as quickly as possible. However, when you are involved in an accident where the injuries are serious enough to cause financial hardship in the future, your claim must allow for damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages if applicable, and other damages you may be eligible for. Rushing towards a hasty settlement with an insurer ensures that you are left with a bare minimal settlement that hardly covers your needs.