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5 Essential Tips For Negotiating Legal Settlements
If you are involved in a legal dispute for the first time, the process can be confusing and overwhelming. It is even more confusing when issues of settlements are at stake. Legal settlements are resolutions parties to a dispute come to before or after court action. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds. So, what should you know when dealing with legal settlements? Here are a few tips to help you out.
Hire a lawyer
Suppose you are in the process of settling a legal matter concerning injury due to negligent conduct. In that case, you would want to hire medical malpractice attorneys or personal injury attorneys as the issue requires. This is vital because lawyers know the area and can ensure that the settlements run smoothly. Their experience also ensures that the proper procedures are followed.
You may have an amount you believe is worth compensating for the damages you have incurred. However, the truth is you are not entirely guaranteed this amount. If the amount you are proposing is too high, you may not receive as much. This could also lead to more problems.
Therefore, it is essential to set a minimum settlement amount. You can consult an insurance adjuster to help you select the right amount- especially in cases involving personal injury. Also, working with a specific amount saves more time. Without a specific amount, you and the other party would waste significant amounts of time between offers and counteroffers.
Negotiating legal settlements: don’t accept the first offer
A well-known rule of negotiation is not to accept the first offer. When an offer is made, it is crucial to ponder over it before you respond. Usually, the other party would offer an amount lower than your specified amount.
Agreeing too quickly would give the impression that you are not so “passionate” about your claim. Instead, produce a counteroffer. However, be sure your demands are reasonable as exorbitant offers would be disregarded, and you may leave with little or nothing. Remember that the settlement is negotiated, so don’t be quick to accept the first offer. Fight for what you believe in negotiating some more.
Negotiate some more
As mentioned in the previous point, don’t disregard the claims in your demand letter for the first offer without a fight. The adjuster may make low offers to get you to settle for less, so negotiate some more! You may inquire about the reasons for the low offer from the adjuster. If these do not sound fair or just, continue negotiating till you reach an agreement you are content with.
Wait for a response
Reduce your demand no more than once until the adjuster makes you a new offer. This way, both parties to the settlement are respected and heard. It is also a decent way to bargain without conflict. Examine each of the adjuster’s additional justifications for a low offer. After you’ve dealt with all of the adjuster’s arguments, you’ll either receive an acceptable offer or discover that no reasonable offer is forthcoming, in which case you’ll need to exert extra pressure on the insurance company.