If someone else’s behavior resulted in your injury, it’s time to consider negotiating a settlement. This step is important, as it can help you receive the compensation you need while avoiding court.
In this article, we explain the overall settlement process and offer tips on preparing for negotiations.
The Basics of Settlement Negotiations in a Personal Injury Claim
An injury affects more than just your body. In our system, it can also harm your finances. When that injury is not your fault, you need help covering all the expenses involved.
Personal injury negotiations are a bargaining process between the victim and the party responsible for the injury. The goal is to reach a mutually agreeable amount of financial compensation for this victim.
During negotiations, each party presents their case. Typically, one side claims that the other caused their injury. The settlement amount should account for all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The other side, the defendant, argues their side of the case. They deny responsibility for the injury, or they try to negotiate the smallest settlement allowable. Both sides will present evidence to support their arguments.
In the best-case scenarios, negotiations are conducted in good faith. Both parties should be willing to compromise and reach a fair, reasonable resolution.
Preparing for Settlement Negotiations
Understand what Your Personal Injury Case Is Worth
Researching the estimated values of similar cases is a great starting point. When you know the results of similar cases, you have an idea of what to expect. Consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine your case's worth.
Document all Expenses Related to the Accident
You will use this documentation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Make sure to keep track of all:
- Insurance payments
- Medical bills, including:
- Doctors visits
- Hospitals stays
- Any travel expenses related to your treatment
- Mental health treatment you received because of the injury
- Estimates and payments you made for property damage
You should also keep a detailed record of any missed work or other lost wages the injury caused. This loss could include any career advances you missed, called “lost potential wages.”
The more detailed and accurate your documentation, the stronger your personal injury claim will be.
Identify Anyone Else Involved in the Accident
You must locate anyone else who could be held liable for damages. These people can include any individual, company, or government entity whose actions or negligence contributed to the accident.
Identifying these parties is important from a legal standpoint, and it helps ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your damages.
Get Help from a Qualified Lawyer
If you're dealing with a personal injury claim, negotiating a settlement can be a formidable process. The other party's insurance company is in the business of making money, not subsidizing your care. This reality is why you should enlist the help of an attorney.
An experienced attorney understands the best strategy that can help you achieve success. They want to make sure you receive everything you deserve. You don’t want to be left with expenses or bills you can't cover, so you should seek all the professional help you can.
An attorney is there to help you prepare for all the steps outlined above. Having a lawyer means you are not facing an insurance company or its legal team alone.
Your attorney’s help does not stop at negotiations. If settlement talks break down, your lawyer can represent you in court. Since they’ve already worked closely with you up to this point, they will have intimate knowledge of your case, and they’ll be ready to fight for your rights.
Protect your rights. If you’ve been hurt by someone else’s actions, contact Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. today. You can reach us online or call our office at (904) 701-0591.