If you were involved in an accident and the other party was at fault, you most likely can receive compensation for any damages, injuries, or other types of suffering. This can include having your medical bills paid, receiving any wages you lost from missing work, compensation for disabilities, and more. You may be wondering if you have the ability to negotiate to receive more for your case. A lawyer can give you more information that is specific to your case, but the simple answer is that you can negotiate.
Settling Vs. Lawsuits
The first step you take is to file a lawsuit. In all likelihood, the other party will attempt to settle with you out of court. The vast majority of court cases are settled before it goes to trial. If your case does go to trial and it is not settled until the trial is complete, then you cannot negotiate. If you win the case, the judge will decide how much the defendant must pay you based on:
- The amount of your expenses
- The severity of your injuries
- The amount of time missed at work
- How likely a full recovery is
- Many other miscellaneous factors
The amount the judge decides is not up for negotiation, although the defendant will have the opportunity to appeal the court decision. If, instead, the defendant offers you a settlement, you can negotiate.
- In negotiation, you can ask for other types of compensation, such as the replacement of property.
- The threat of refusing the settlement and taking the case to court is a big motivator, so you should not be afraid to refuse initial offers.
- Remember that there is always the possibility of losing the court case, which will result in you gaining nothing. A settlement, on the other hand, is a guaranteed gain.
- Keep all copies of medical bills, receipts, and mechanic bills to prove how much you had to pay. This gives you great leverage when asking for more Settlement money. Police reports, testimonies, and other documentation can create pressure for the other party to accept your negotiations by demonstrating that your court case is strong.
- Do not get pressured into accepting a low offer in order to receive the funds right away. Your lawyer can offer options to pay your bills in the meantime.
- It is always a good idea to let a lawyer negotiate on your behalf. They are more familiar with how valuable your case is and what is a good or bad offer.