Most car accident victims find themselves in a financial pinch in the weeks and months following their wreck. Their inability to work makes it impossible for them to secure income, straining them when medical bills come due. Unless you have an enormous amount of savings, then your car accident can make it difficult to cover your basic needs. As a result, in short order you could end up facing the very real possibility of foreclosure, eviction, repossession, and financial ruin.
With so much at stake, you might be tempted to take the first settlement offer that’s made in your case. Truth be told, though, this settlement is aimed at reducing the amount of financial liability that the defendant incurs. In other words, your first settlement offer is going to be for far less than what your claim is worth.
How do you get the most out of your car accident settlement?
There’s always room for negotiation in a personal injury case. Therefore, instead of latching onto the initial settlement offer, you should consider doing the following so that you can maximize what you get out of your claim:
- Follow all medical recommendations: Before sitting down at the negotiating table, you want to build up the value of your claim. One of the best ways to do this is to seek out medical treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s recommendations. This will create a record of the treatment that you received and the care that you need going forward. If you forego this treatment, then it’s going to be hard to show why you need the compensation that you’re requesting.
- Be armed with evidence: You need to have evidence on your side as you head into settlement talks. If you don’t, then you won’t have any leverage going in. By gathering the evidence you need to support your claim and building your case as if you’re ready to go to trial, you’ll show the other side that you’re ready to litigate. You can also use strong evidence to convince the other side that settling on your terms is in their best interests.
- Know your case’s weaknesses: Every personal injury case has weak points. If you can identify those problematic areas in your case, then you can seek ways to mitigate the risks associated with them. This could help you deflect the arguments presented by the defense during settlement negotiations, which would otherwise reduce the amount of compensation that you recover.
- Conduct a risk-reward analysis: You can’t effectively negotiate unless you know what you’re claim is worth. And you don’t know when to settle unless you understand the unique risks associated with taking your case to trial. Therefore, before negotiating settlement, you should analyze the facts of your case considering the offer at hand so that you can find a balance between recovering the compensation that you need without taking on too much risk. This is a delicate act, as moving too far one way or the other could put you at risk of a poor outcome.
Be confident going into your settlement negotiations
Negotiating resolution to your personal injury case can be a great way to secure the financial resources and closure you need while saving you time and expenses. But you don’t want to rush the process, as doing so could jeopardize the recovery that you want and need.
Therefore, before heading into your settlement talks, you should come up with a strong plan that seeks the best outcome possible under your circumstances. By being thorough in your preparation, you’ll hopefully be able to put yourself on a path toward a strong recovery and a bright future.