If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to compensation. But going to court is a time-consuming process, and you may need money right away. Settling your claim can get you the funds you deserve more quickly than going to trial.
Most courts encourage parties to a suit to negotiate. If you know how to negotiate a settlement, you allow all parties to come to an agreement that gives everyone involved a degree of satisfaction.
However, you may need a skilled negotiator in your corner. If you do not have the experience, you may sign away rights you did not even know you had, or give up compensation which you are owed.
Here are five tips for reaching a settlement in your personal injury suit.
Collect Your Evidence
In order to negotiate a good settlement, you must demonstrate to the opposition that you have the facts on your side. Opposing counsel will not want to risk being hit with a high jury award if you have convincing evidence in your favor.
For example, you should have your medical records which show how you have been physically affected by your injuries. You should have photos of the scene if possible, and interviews with witnesses who would be willing to testify on your behalf.
Don’t Take the First Offer
You should always propose a settlement amount far higher than you expect. Be prepared to bargain.
If you are suing a company for personal injury, their insurance company may immediately offer an amount to make the case go away quickly. Never accept the first offer they make.
Be Willing to Wait
The wheels of justice do not turn quickly, and good things come to those who wait.
Your opposition will see if you are desperate, and seek to take advantage. If you act as though you have all the time in the world, you will have more control.
Many suits settle during the days or hours right before the trial begins. Many defendants do not want to take the risk of a bigger loss in court. They may also want to limit their lawyer fees, which may not be on a contingency basis like they usually are for plaintiffs.
Include Emotional Injury
When you calculate your monetary losses, include the emotional injury you have sustained in addition to the physical.
You want compensation not only for medical bills and loss of wages but the loss of consortium and emotional distress.
Get a Lawyer
Your best bet at negotiating a satisfactory settlement of a personal injury claim is by letting a professional handle it. An experienced attorney will help you make a claim and then negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get what you deserve.
If you have been injured, you may be too emotionally close to the situation to negotiate effectively. You also may not know all of the loopholes and fine print that may go into a settlement agreement.
Find an advocate to protect your interests and do what is best for you.
How to Negotiate a Settlement: Let the Professionals Handle it
If you want to know how to negotiate a settlement that will get you fair compensation for your injury, the answer is to let an experienced lawyer do it for you.
For more tips on making the most of the challenges that life may throw your way, keep checking back.