Car crashes often come with serious injuries and property damage. For this reason, these cases will sometimes involve lawsuits, but many personal injury lawsuits don’t make it to a trial. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate a settlement.
Negotiating a personal injury settlement isn’t easy. You will likely find that the insurance company or the other party will try to give you a low-ball offer. Here are some tips to help you make it through this process.
Know the amount in damages
The amount in damages is important because it lets you know what you’ve spent on medical care and other expenses since the accident. When you determine this figure, don’t forget to count what the insurance company has spent on your care. Subrogation can apply to these cases if you have a successful claim for compensation. This means that you might be required to repay the money that the insurer paid for care. Failing to include this in your calculations for compensation could mean that you end up owing more money than what you obtained.
Think about the future
You also can’t get stuck thinking about what you’ve already paid for medical care. You need address what you might have to spend on medical care in the future. Some injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, can require lifelong care, which can be very expensive. Failing to include those costs in your case can be financially devastating down the road.
Pick the starting number
You can’t start the negotiations at the number where you need to finish. You need to pick a starting point that is higher than you are willing to accept, but don’t go overboard. Instead, you need to pick a number that seems appropriate. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula so be careful when you are trying to figure out this number. It might help to work with someone familiar with these cases to determine a suitable point to start your negotiations.
Stand firm when necessary
Don’t go below your bottom number just because you want the case to be over with. Some people are scared to go through the trial process, but this fear isn’t necessary. Instead of accepting less than your case is worth, speak to those working on your behalf to find out what options you have.