23 Sep Top 10 Personal Injury Settlement Negotiation Tips
Best Tips for Personal Injury Settlement Negotiation
After you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, the last thing on your mind should be how to talk with the other person’s insurance company. However, once you are offered a settlement it is time to negotiate. One of the most important things that you can do for yourself is to educate yourself about personal injury settlement negotiations before contacting an insurance company. Here is a list of the top 10 personal injury settlement negotiation tips:
1. Get Documentation and Be Prepared
To win your case, you must show that someone else was responsible for your injuries and that their actions were what caused them. The more evidence you can provide to support your claim, the better chance you have of winning. Collect evidence such as witness statements, medical records, and photographs.
If you do not have any of the evidence already, you can take steps to acquire it or hire a private investigator. I once hired a private investigator that was able to uncover many unsafe practices a particular company was doing. This can not only help you in your case but also help others who could be exposed to the same harmful conditions.
2. Do Your Research
Before contacting an insurance company, conduct some research on personal injury settlement negotiations so that you know what to expect when they call you. Many people who call themselves personal injury lawyers actually work on a contingency fee basis.
That means that they do not get paid unless you receive compensation. This is the most popular type of personal injury settlement negotiation and it gives you more control over your case because you can make all of the decisions regarding what to do and when to settle.
3. Legal Representation
It is unwise to refuse legal representation in personal injury cases. Legal representation will make all of the difference in your case. Legal representation is a personal injury settlement negotiation option that offers more control because your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. You will have to pay their fees out of the final settlement amount.
However, the fee will be minuscule in comparison to how much more legal representation can get you. It is important to find a reputable lawyer who has experience in personal injury settlement negotiations.
4. Choose the Right Option for Compensation
There are different types of compensation that can be part of a personal injury settlement negotiation. The most recognizable type is called damages. This is when money is awarded to the injured party to compensate them for their pain and suffering.
However, there are also other types of compensation that your lawyer will discuss with you namely punitive damages and compensation for your medical expenses. These compensation options can be better than just a lump sum awarded. This is because some injuries can last a long time.
This means that you may be required to seek medical treatment regularly for several years. There is no way someone can quantify this in certain cases. So, ensure you and your lawyer choose the right compensation for you!
5. Use Good Negotiation Tactics
Do not let the insurance company bully you into settling for less than what you deserve to be compensated. When negotiating a personal injury settlement, do not make decisions based on emotion. Also, never sign anything without reading and understanding it first.
If the other side is playing hardball, stand firm and do not settle for less than you deserve. Usually, when they realize that you are not going to budge, the insurance company will come back with a better offer.
6. Be Patient
During personal injury settlement negotiations, it can be very tempting to settle for whatever the insurance company offers you. You may want to settle even if it’s not enough to cover your medical expenses and other losses. However, if you act too soon, you could miss an opportunity to get more compensation.
Wait for the right offer instead of rushing into a settlement. Many times, insurance companies are aware of people’s need for immediate satisfaction. It can be very frustrating to continue a case and “drag it out”. Insurance companies and legal defense teams are counting on it.
However, if you persevere in many cases, you can receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t immediately accept the low ball offers many times are offered to victims of personal injury.
7. Be Willing to Walk Away
One of the most important things to remember is that many other insurance companies are willing to pay more if this one will not. If the other side is being unreasonable, be prepared to take your case elsewhere so that you can find someone who will treat you fairly. This is why legal representation is so helpful.
Your lawyer will be able to tell you when it is time to switch gears. Don’t give up on your case. Especially if you feel you have a strong case. Your lawyer will know if you are being taken advantage of or not. Be prepared to walk away and always use the wisdom of a good personal injury lawyer.
8. Settling Too Early
Insurance companies are looking for any excuse to get out of paying money. They will often offer an extremely low settlement to see if you are willing to accept it without consulting with legal representation. It can be a problem if you do not have documentation or evidence to back your case up.
Insurance companies may try to convince you that you should settle because the other party is offering a lot of money. Do insurance companies will probably win in court. Telling insurance companies what they want to hear and settling too early will almost always result in an unfair settlement.
9. Outside Experts
Often, the only way to prove that your injuries stem from someone else’s negligence is through an outside expert. This may be a doctor who specializes in pain management. In addition, it could be another medical professional who can testify as to how your injuries will affect you for the rest of your life. This is such an important step.
Outside experts can truly qualify whether you have a case or not. They can look at an injury and testify that the injury was caused by the alleged incident. An expert can eliminate any doubt about the injury being related to the incident. So, don’t forget to reach out to a professional to receive advice. In addition, you can use them to testify in a case/negotiation.
10. Don’t Be Naive
The insurance companies are not on your side and they are not looking out for your best interests. You must hire a personal injury lawyer. They can negotiate on your behalf to make sure that you get compensated fairly for what happened to you. Even if you think it is not right, you will be pressured into settling before your case goes to court.
Always keep in mind that personal injury settlement negotiations are completely different from other types of negotiation. You have more control over the process but you also have less control over the outcome. So, it is essential to have legal representation on your side.