Negotiating a settlement can avoid going to trial and, in some cases, eliminate the need to file a lawsuit. Therefore, settlement negotiation can dramatically speed up your claim. It may also save a great deal by reducing attorney’s fees and avoiding court costs. If your attorney has advised you to weigh a settlement, here are some tips for the negotiation process.
Get Medical Attention
If you’ve been injured, prompt medical attention not only helps prevent your situation from getting worse. It also enables a doctor to determine the nature and extent of your injury and treat it accordingly. This will give you an idea of the costs associated with your case and how much you should demand.
Investigate the Case Thoroughly
The more information you have, the better positioned you are for settlement negotiation. Consult with eyewitnesses and expert witnesses and learn about every fact, law, and statute related to your case. Gather all your evidence, so there are as many details available as possible to strengthen your stance against the opposing side.
In your investigation, tally up lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, medical expenses, and funeral/burial expenses that you want to be compensated for. Past and future economic losses should be considered as well.
Organize Facts, Details, and Paperwork
In addition to having a clear account of your story and all the evidence in one place, make note of all communications with insurance adjusters. Write down what was said during every phone call. This includes what you or the adjuster said what will or will not be done by a certain date.
After your discussion, write a letter to them confirming what was agreed upon. Also, provide any requested information right away. Most importantly, make copies of all paperwork you send or receive.
Be Patient Yet Persistent
Don’t rush to settle the claim, as claims adjusters typically start with a low offer hoping you’ll give in. If enough time passes, the adjuster will become more eager to settle, so may increase their offer. Being persistent can therefore pay off. Adjusters tend to sit on claims but ask for a response as the previously mentioned date approaches. Following up lets them know you’re sharp and persistent.
Keep Your Cool
Adjusters are often overworked, underpaid, and unsympathetic. Getting angry with or threatening them won’t move things along any faster. Be honest and straightforward with the facts of your case and sound confident. Rather than become emotional, let them know you understand the process and expect a good-faith settlement.
Know the Lowest Amount You’re Willing to Accept
To strengthen your settlement negotiations, it helps to know the bare minimum you would accept. This is typically what covers the costs associated with repairs, treatment, etc. related to your accident. Include attorney’s fees as well. But stay in touch with your target amount that covers lost wages, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.
Strengthen Your Argument
When a case goes to trial, attorneys must have a strong and convincing story. The jury will weigh the arguments of both sides to arrive at a verdict. Follow the same approach with settlement negotiation. The more the opposing party is convinced your version of the story is correct, the more likely they are to be influenced by your negotiating strategy.
Anticipate How the Other Side Is Going to Respond
The opposing party is likely preparing a fight of its own. Anticipating their arguments can help in preparing counterarguments. Brainstorm various situations so you can plan effective strategies to improve the odds your settlement offer will be accepted.
Pre-Settlement Funding Can Help You Carry Forward
Many plaintiffs settle for lowball offers because they don’t have the money. With non-recourse legal funding, you’ll have the cash and motivation to pursue settlement negotiation. At Fund Capital America, we offer a fast and easy application process and pre-settlement funding based on the facts of your case, up to $100,000, in as little as 24 hours. A cash advance can be used to pay rent, buy food, and receive much-needed medical treatments.