How to Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement?
To get the compensation you deserve, you have to toil hard during your personal injury case. In most circumstances, your insurance company or your injurer will not agree to the amount you claim and will come up with ways to get you to lower the amount anyhow.
So instead of jumping on the first offer you receive during a personal injury settlement, you should follow some steps and negotiate your way through the settlement.
Here we have outlined for you some tips that can help you in negotiating better:
1. Calculate All Special Damages You Had to Bear
Your special damages include your direct expenses that you have incurred, and which you will have to bear in the anticipated future. These tend to include:
- Damage to property (such as in case of a car accident)
- Medical expenses (including hospitalisation, treatment, therapy, medicines etc)
- Lost salary or wages (for the period you were not able to go to work)
- Lost earning capacity (future lost wages due to not being able to work in the future)
- Funeral and burial expenses (in case of death)
2. Calculate Other Non-Economic Damages As Well
Non-economic damages are fairly hard to calculate, which is why, it is best to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side, such as the Rochester personal injury lawyer. These include:
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of reputation
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
Since these damages are not palpable and cannot be calculated with documentation, it can be hard to come up with a justifiable amount. These damages also tend to go long-term. Usually, these equal around 1.5 to 5 times more than the amount for special damages.
3. Analyze & Accordingly Adjust Claim’s Value
Seldom do plaintiffs actually receive their desired amount. The claim value differs from case to case and has to be adjusted bearing in mind a few factors:
- Liability (whether you or partially at-fault or not)
- Number of defendants (issues may arise in how much each would be liable to pay)
- Location for the case trial (every judge treats the case differently)
Even if you have worked out the overall value of your claim by calculating the special and non-economic damages, you will have to again adjust the value of your claim by considering these factors
The value of your claim can be subject to reduction, if you are proved to be partially at-fault or negligent. If there are multiple defendants in a case, you will have to see how much each can pay. The venue of your case trial matters a lot, because every court differs on how they will take things forward.
4. Make Your Offer
Once you have made your calculations and adjusted the value of your claim, you have reached at a final number for your offer. In case that there is no voluntary agreement for settlement, you will have to go to trial where the judge will determine your damages.