Mistakes to Avoid in Negotiation

Most Front Royal personal injury cases are settled by negotiation at our firm. The reality is that both sides in a car accident or other dispute have an incentive to settle. The defendant will partly control how much they pay, and the victim is guaranteed some money. If the case goes to trial, anything could happen, and either side could lose. Negotiating a settlement helps both sides avoid that unfortunate outcome.

There is an art to negotiation. No one should go into settlement without doing proper research or understanding what the other side thinks. Please call Correll Law Firm today to speak with our Front Royal personal injury attorney about your case. This article highlights mistakes to avoid in negotiation.

Mistake #1: You Don’t Know the Value of Your Claim

As an accident victim, your goal in negotiation is to reach agreement on financial compensation for your injuries. This means seeking money damages for economic losses like car or property damage, medical bills, ongoing medical treatments, and lost wages.

Economic losses are easy to document. You should have bills for medical treatment and pay stubs to show your income. If your car needs repairs, you should get a detailed estimate.

Some people wander into negotiation without any clue as to how much they’ve lost out of pocket due to an accident. You can’t obtain fair compensation if you don’t know what to request. Flying “blind” in this way results in people agreeing to very small settlements.

You should also request compensation for pain and suffering and mental or emotional anguish. These damages are harder to estimate, which is one reason to hire a seasoned legal advocate. Our attorney can settle on a number that properly compensates for bodily pain and emotional injuries.

Mistake #2: You Fail to Research Recent Court Verdicts

When negotiations fail, accident victims are left filing a lawsuit. That means your lawyer presents evidence to a jury, and the jury will decide who is liable. The jury will also decide how much compensation the defendant should pay you.

Before going into settlement talks, you need some idea of how much people have recently won in court. Armed with that information, you can better assess the value of any settlement proposal. For example, recent juries might have awarded $1 million or more when a car accident victim suffers a paralyzing spinal cord injury. If you suffer that injury, it would make no sense to settle for $10,000. You could win more by going to trial.

Correll Law Firm can find this information, which is often hard to locate. We know how much you could possibly win if your case goes to trial, and we use this information when reviewing offers.

Mistake #3: You Don’t Even Know the Issues in Dispute

In the ideal world, the defendant would immediately admit fault for an accident and pay whatever you requested in compensation. If that were to happen, you would never need to negotiate for a settlement. Sadly, we don’t operate in the ideal world.

To negotiate properly, you need to fully understand the points of disagreement. Does the other side think you are partially to blame for the accident? Fully to blame? Do they think you aren’t injured or are demanding too much money?

We need to know these points if we are to effectively advocate for compensation. One reason to work with our firm is that our Front Royal personal injury lawyer will get to the bottom of any dispute.

Mistake #4: You Forget Virginia is a Contributory Negligence State

Virginia is one of the few remaining states that recognize contributory negligence. This law cuts off the ability to receive compensation if you were even 1% to blame for an accident. The law is that severe. In other states, you can request compensation so long as you are only 49% or 50% to blame. And some states let you seek compensation even if you were 99% at fault.

But Virginia is still stuck in the past. In the Commonwealth, you can’t receive compensation if you were at all to blame for your accident.

We negotiate carefully on behalf of clients. That means not accidentally admitting our client was careless in the lead up to an accident. Even though mediation is confidential, it’s best not to admit any fact which might work against you.

Mistake #5: You Don’t Realize You Get One Chance to Receive Fair Compensation

In the typical settlement, each side gets something. As the victim, you will receive financial compensation for your injuries. The defendant will also get something as well: a release of claims.

Essentially, you will agree that you won’t go ahead and sue the defendant again based on these injuries. The defendant pays you money, and then your case goes away.

Without signing a release, it’s unlikely the defendant will agree to pay anything. So it’s an essential part of settlement negotiations.

As a result, you get one shot at fair financial compensation. At Correll Law, we understand this fact. We push to obtain the most compensation available given the circumstances. We will never recommend that you settle for peanuts if we think you have a strong chance of receiving more. Instead, we head back to negotiation and push for the defendant to cough up more money. Or we might recommend going to court to ask a jury for real monetary compensation.

Reach Out to Correll Law Firm Today

Beau Correll is one of the most exciting personal injury lawyers working in Fort Royal today. He has built his practice with one goal in mind: to represent accident victims who deserve compensation after suffering painful, disruptive injuries. Relying on the most up-to-date legal information, he can negotiate effectively for your rights. Our firm has obtained many large settlements on behalf of clients. A skilled litigator, Beau is adept at presenting cases to a judge and jury. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Correll to go over your legal rights by calling 540-535-2005.