After being injured in a car accident, you probably want to find accountability and recover compensation for the harm that’s been unfairly dealt to you. You might be able to attain both goals by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Although a lot of people think of the legal process as being fraught with court appearances and aggressive back-and-forth arguments in front of a jury, the fact of the matter is that most of these personal injury cases end up resolving through settlement negotiations.
But as you prepare to sit down with the other side to see if there’s a way to hash out an agreement, you need to be cognizant of the fact that the defense is looking to settle your case for as little as possible. Therefore, you’ll want to be proactive in the negotiation process to ensure that you recover what you need and deserve.
Getting the most out of your settlement negotiations
If you want to get as much as you can out of your settlement, you need to know how you can best position yourself to successfully push the other side closer to where you want them to be. Here are some ways that you can do that:
- Be fully prepared: Even if you expect your case to resolve through settlement and you have no desire to go to trial, you need to prepare your case like you’re ready to litigate. This will give you the evidence, the legal arguments, and the confidence that you need to take control of settlement talks. So, make sure that you’ve put in the work necessary to have of command of your case.
- Know the extent of your damages: You’re not going to know what you need to push for if you don’t have a clear understanding of what your claim is worth. So, before sitting down at the negotiation table, make sure that you calculate your incurred and anticipated lost wages and medical expenses as well as your non-economic damages so that you’ll have a better sense of what your target is during negotiations.
- Resist the urge to meet in the middle: There’s a tendency in our society to try to find a fair outcome by meeting in the middle of two opposing viewpoints. But there’s nothing fair about they have done to you. You need to be prepared to hold firm to your positions and only give in when necessary to reach the outcome that you want.
- Be aware of other issues: Sure, at the end of the day, you want to recover compensation for the harm that you have experienced. And that should certainly be a goal of your settlement negotiations. But there are other factors that you might want to take into account as you try to find resolution. For example, you might want to consider the amount of time and stress it’ll take to litigate your case, as well as other concessions that the defendant is willing to make. By being open-minded and creative, you may be able to obtain the outcome that is right for you and that you desire.
Developing the best legal strategy for you and your case
There’s a lot that goes into preparing a personal injury lawsuit. And if you want to be successful, you need to be as fully prepared as possible. While that takes a lot of time and energy, it’s not something that you have to do on your own. A legal team that’s proven themselves successful in these types of cases might be able to give you the advocacy that you need to secure the outcome that you deserve.