It’s no secret that most personal injury cases result in settlement without the need for a trial. For a lot of accident victims, this is a relief, as the thought of prolonged litigation is stressful, and they usually need money sooner rather than later.
Yet, not all settlement offers are created equal. This means that you need to be diligent when you consider a settlement offer to accurately determine if it’s truly right for you. Figuring out how to properly analyze your case can be tricky, especially when you have external financial pressures resting on your shoulders. We hope that this blog post will give you some insight into how to best approach your settlement negotiations.
Tips for addressing settlement negotiations
You might be tempted to accept an initial settlement offer, but you should really avoid doing so. Generally speaking, these initial offers are lower than what you deserve, which means that you need to be prepared to counter. As you navigate the process, there are some things to keep in mind that should help position you for a better outcome:
- Have a figure in mind: You can’t sit down at the bargaining table without knowing what you’re asking for. Therefore, before heading into settlement negotiations, you should know what your claim is worth. To do so, you’ll need to put in the work to calculate not only your incurred medical expenses and lost wages but also your anticipated medical and rehabilitation costs and any future lost wages and lost earnings capacity. This will give you a better idea of how to counter when you receive your initial settlement offer.
- Focus on emotional pain points: Although the economic damages that you’ve suffered are going to be key to your case, you can’t overlook the value of your non-economic damages. These include your pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. To assign monetary value to these damages, you’re going to have to paint a clear picture, so think through how you can articulate this piece of your case.
- Be organized: The other side isn’t simply going to give in to your demands. Instead, they’re going to want evidence that supports your request. If you’re organized and can easily provide that evidence, you’re going to appear more confident, and your claim will appear stronger. This can lead to better negotiation results.
- Be patient: Negotiating a claim resolution can take some time, and you might experience some frustrations along the way. This is understandable and expected. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, though. Instead, try your best to remain calm and let the process play out.
- Have reasonable expectations: If you’re thinking about settling your case, you need to realize that you’re not going to get everything that you want. You can still achieve a positive outcome, but the amount of compensation that you recover may be less than you’d hoped for. With that said, settlement may be your best option given the risks involved with taking your case to trial. If you’re aware of this reality and set realistic expectations, you may find the negotiation process more beneficial and rewarding.
Creating the legal strategy that’s best for you
There’s no single approach to settlement negotiations that works for everyone. Instead, you need a custom-tailored approach that is geared toward getting the best outcome given the facts of your case. If you think that you could use some help in creating your legal strategy in that regard, we encourage you to research your representation options and consider reaching out to those whom you think will give you a leg up in your case.