Those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident often find themselves battling a number of emotions. They’re usually angry at the negligent driver who caused their injuries, fearful for their physical and financial future, and scared about the path forward. These emotions are completely normal. Car accident victims shouldn’t numb themselves to them. However, they do need to be careful that their emotions don’t cloud their judgment when it comes to taking legal action.
This is especially true when it comes to settlement negotiations. Far too often, car accident victims are quick to accept offers from negligent drivers and their insurance companies simply to avoid the contentious legal process. Sure, this may lead to a quicker recovery, but it usually doesn’t lead to the best outcome possible. Therefore, motor vehicle accident victims need to understand how to negotiate their settlements without fear.
To do so, there are a number of things they need to keep in mind. For example, before entering negotiations, car accident victims should have an idea of how low of an offer they’ll accept and what target number they hope to reach. Doing so can provide some comfort and direction. Also, don’t be offended by the first offer. It’s always going to be too low. Be prepared for that and the back-and-forth that comes with negotiations.
Perhaps most importantly, victims need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. By doing so, they can obtain a realistic sense of the likelihood that they will succeed at trial should negotiations stall. Additionally, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a case can help dictate when and where a victim can push for more during settlement talks, and when and where he or should give.
Of course, settlement negotiation is a process that typically requires skill and legal know-how. Also, to be successful, victims need to be able to articulate their case and why they believe that they will be successful at trial. It is also beneficial to not be afraid of trial so that the other side knows that a victim is willing to walk away.
This can be overwhelming for many car accident victims, which is why qualified and skilled legal professionals stand ready to assist.