Injury Settlements: 10 Strategies for Maximizing Your Compensation
Settling a case means that you agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you. You’ll have to sign a release absolving the other side of any further liability. Knowing how settlements are reached and what to expect from them may be crucial, despite the fact that most personal injury cases are settled instead of going to trial.
To help you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer. If you accept monetary compensation from the party at fault in exchange for dropping your lawsuit, the case is said to have been settled.
In reality, you’ll sign a document relieving the other party of any further responsibility. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to give you an honest opinion on whether or not filing a lawsuit based on your claim has a chance of success, which will help you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer. Settlements are possible at any stage of a lawsuit, from before trial and throughout the trial but before a verdict is rendered by the jury. You, not the attorney, get to decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
The fact that many settlements are bound by nondisclosure agreements explains this, but there is another explanation as well. Personal injury settlements are typically much smaller than trial verdicts, making them less dramatic.
10 Strategies for Maximizing Your Loss in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury verdicts are often major headlines. Tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars awarded by juries can make for exciting news. You don’t hear as much about settlements, though. Part of the reason for this is that many settlements are kept private due to nondisclosure agreements, but there’s another reason, too. Personal injury settlements aren’t usually as high as some verdicts, which makes them a bit less exciting.
An agreement in a personal injury case can be struck at any time, and its purpose remains the same. When parties agree to settle out of court, the plaintiff accepts payment in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.
Settlements can be difficult for both parties to negotiate successfully. Plaintiffs (those who have been wronged and are filing suit) run the risk of settling for less than they could win in court. The defendant (the alleged wrongdoer) proposes settling out of court to save further legal fees. In any case, the judge’s decision might go anyway.
The idiom “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” has some truth to it. Most litigants would rather have the certainty of a settlement offer than the potential windfall of a large verdict.
- Hire or Engage a Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon As Possible
The first and the most crucial point for success and for reducing your chances of losing in a personal injury case is to hire a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer. Personal injury lawyers and attorneys are experts and professionals who deal with such personal injury cases in their day-to-day routine and they best know the strategies for getting compensation in your personal injury case.
- Calculate Your Losses and Injuries With the Help of Your Personal Injury Lawyer
When writing your demand letter for a personal injury settlement, discussing the same with your personal injury lawyer prior to anyone else is of pivotal importance as you probably included an estimate of your claim’s value. You should determine the bare minimum you’d accept as a settlement before discussing your demand with the insurance adjuster. You shouldn’t share this number with the adjuster; it’s solely for your personal reference. It is helpful to have your bottom line in mind before the offers and counteroffers begin flying back and forth.
- Never Accept a Low Offer From an Insurer
When starting a negotiation, insurance adjusters will typically offer a modest amount. Using this strategy, the adjuster is testing your understanding of the value of your claim and your tolerance for delays.If the initial offer is reasonable but still too low, or if it’s so low that it’s obviously a test to see if you know what you’re doing, your response will vary.
If the offer is fair, you can counter with an amount that is slightly less than what you requested in your demand letter. Doing so will demonstrate to the adjuster that you are also reasonable and open to making concessions. You should be able to quickly reach an amount that you both agree is fair with a little more negotiation. Don’t waste time rehashing the past in these discussions. You should only bring up the strongest arguments in your favor, such as the fact that the insured party was wholly at fault.
- Keep a Record of Each Important Point
Evidence and testimonies play an important role in personal injury cases. A successful personal injury claim must be accompanied by all important and relevant points such as pieces of evidence and they should all be corroborated. Evidence of a personal injury claim can be in the shape of CCTV Camera Records or testimonies of individuals who witnessed the incident.
- Use People’s Feelings to Your Advantage
Bring up any personal experiences that provide credence to your position during discussions. Make reference to any supporting evidence you have provided the adjuster with, such as photos of a wrecked vehicle or injuries that appear to be quite severe. Repeat the likelihood of alcohol use if a bottle of beer was located in the other driver’s vehicle. Remind the adjuster of any other incidents that might have occurred under similar circumstances. Include the impact your injury had on your child if you were unable to provide for his or her care. Although these intangibles cannot be quantified, they can have a significant impact on an insurance company’s decision to pay out on an accident claim.
- Wait for the Reply and Remain in Touch With Your Personal Injury Lawyer
Before receiving a new offer from the adjuster, you should not lower your demand more than once without discussing the same with your personal injury lawyer. It’s bad bargaining practice to lower your demand more than once without receiving an increased offer in between. Discuss each of the adjuster’s additional justifications for a low offer. After you’ve answered all the adjuster’s objections, you’ll either get a fair offer or realize that the insurance company won’t budge without more pressure from your end.
- Document the Agreement
As soon as you and the adjuster arrive at a settlement amount, confirm it in writing. The letter need not be lengthy.
- Acquire the Help of a Doctor If You Can
Ensure that your doctor is on your side. A personal injury case can be difficult to win if the treating physician finds no causal link between the injury and the incident. The credibility of a doctor’s witness testimony is often crucial in court. For your doctor’s testimony to be taken seriously in court, he or she should have a solid reputation for credibility.
- Work With Your Personal Injury Lawyer As a Team
It’s not a good idea to argue with or try to outshine your lawyer in public. If there is a problem or a disagreement, it is best to talk about it in private and try to come up with a plan of action. Cooperation between the client and the attorney is crucial to the case’s outcome.
- Do Your Best to Have Faith in the Procedure
Wait your turn. When dealing with a civil claim, many people experience stress due to the lengthy process, but losing patience might backfire. Communication with your personal injury lawyer to discuss developments and long-term strategy is recommended. Don’t get impatient in the middle of discussions and switch your demands.
From all that has been discussed above, we can conclude that the compensation and other remedies available under the law in personal injury cases can be maximized by hiring a competent personal injury lawyer. Lawyers and attorneys are no doubt the legal experts and professionals who play a vital role in securing victims’ rights in personal injury cases.