Personal Injury Claim

JR was offered a settlement of $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

our client results

Frequently Asked Questions About Settlements in Indiana

Indianapolis Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

Suppose you were in a car wreck and you’ve filed a claim for damages, or you’ve retained an attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf, and you receive a settlement offer. You may have a few questions about what a settlement involves. We hope the following FAQs and answers will help you make an informed decision.

1. What is a settlement of a lawsuit or claim?
2. Are settlements rare, or are they “the norm”?
3. Where do the settlement funds come from?
4. How much money will I get if I settle?
5. Why do some cases go to trial rather than settling?
6. What if the company never makes an offer to settle?
7. How will I know whether to accept a settlement offer?
8. How quickly can I get a settlement?
9. Will I get a lump sum of money?

  1. What is a settlement of a lawsuit or claim? Personal injury lawyers, like those at McNeely Stephenson, help victims of accidents receive compensation by filing a claim against the negligent parties. While we are prepared to take every claim to court, and have done so many, many times, we also attempt to negotiate a settlement, or payment, which will prevent your having to incur the expense and time of a trial and to receive monies earlier.
  2. Are settlements rare, or are they “the norm”? In general, about 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled before trial. That may or may not be advisable, or possible, in your case.
  3. Where do the settlement funds come from? In the case of a motor vehicle accident, they would come from the insurance company for the negligent party. Sometimes there are two or more companies involved – say, for the driver and for his employer – and the settlement may be negotiated between them. This is the type of situation in which an experienced attorney’s skillfulness over the conference table can be just as important as his persuasiveness in the courtroom.
  4. How much money will I get if I settle? This is a question we often hear from clients at the beginning of the claim process. There are so many factors involved, and each case is different, so we can’t accurately predict what the insurer may offer or what the ultimate financial outcome will be. You can, however, read about some of the settlements we have negotiated for other clients.
  5. Why do some cases go to trial rather than settling? For one thing, the insurance company may make an offer or a series of offers that simply do not provide what the injured party believes is fair and just compensation for what he or she has been through, so they rely on a jury to determine the amount they will receive. Sometimes victims prefer to take the matter to trial in order to publicize an issue they feel strongly about, perhaps to expose the wrongdoing of a negligent company in order to protect other potential victims.
  6. What if the company never makes an offer to settle? Under Indiana law, not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear can be evidence of bad faith, as can attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he was entitled or attempting to substantially diminish a claim and compelling the insured to initiate litigation. You can read more about insurance bad faith on our website.
  7. How will I know whether to accept a settlement offer? This is where having an experienced personal injury lawyer to advise you can relieve some of the anxiety and confusion. At McNeely Stephenson, we’ve been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1981. We’ve done a lot of settlement negotiations in our time, and we know how to gauge the reasonableness of a settlement offer. We’ll give you seasoned advice and help you make that decision.
  8. How quickly can I get a settlement? Usually, there are offers and counter-offers . . . often several of them. So a settlement can take a few months. It’s actually in your best interest not to settle too quickly, because the full extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. When you accept a settlement offer, you give up the right to file a future lawsuit against the company, even if you later find that your expenses have increased or continued.
  9. Will I get a lump sum of money? That is true in some cases; in others, there will be a series of structured payments made over a period of time. The particulars of your situation will determine which approach is most advisable for you.

If you have been injured through the negligent actions of another – a drunk driver, an inept physician, a careless property owner – the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at McNeely Stephenson will diligently work to obtain just compensation for your injuries, whether through skillful negotiations toward a settlement or by persuasively presenting your case to a jury. Call us at 855-206-2555 for a free consultation.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Your Next Steps...

As you contemplate filing a personal injury lawsuit, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations – or a deadline – for filing personal injury claims, so it is unwise to delay. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.

Don’t lose the opportunity to obtain the money you need to put your life back on track and to make your family’s future financially secure. Call today.

Contact McNeely Stephenson today using our contact form, or call 1-855-206-2555.

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Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve


The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.


Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.


The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.


The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.


Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states