Sometimes, one of the best tools at your disposal is going to be how convincing your personal injury lawyer can be. For all the facts and the evidence of the situation do for you, the truth of the matter is, if one side’s attorney is just that much more savvy and better at negotiating, all of that might just go out of the window. We will explain just how good a quality negotiator can do for your case in this article, and hopefully help guide you to getting the best case possible.
The value of negotiating skills in making a strong personal injury case
The truth of the matter is, there are attorneys who can say that they have won a case, or at the very least reduced their client’s loss, based exclusively on their ability to convince others.
A good way to describe it would be to think of it as a game of poker. No matter how bad a hand might be, your opponents have no idea what you might have. And do you know the best way to give them pause, to make them think you are about to win everything? Sheer confidence.
A lawyer who can go into a case with an empty briefcase and convince their opponent of just how strong a case they have, convince them of how dangerous it would be for them to take this to trial, how beneficial it would be for them to settle, is a truly cunning lawyer, indeed.
A good negotiator is not just valuable for getting the settlement, however; they are also good for getting you a better settlement.
The opponent in this situation is obviously going to try to pay as little as possible in a settlement to you, if not try to avoid paying anything at all, so whatever settlement they offer has a decent likelihood of not being worth your time in considering it. One of the most common tactics a personal injury attorney may employ is to ask for a settlement amount that is higher than what you want or expect to get.
The understanding of this is that you simply should not ask for what you want, because if you do, the opponent is invariably going to want to compromise on that figure. So instead of asking for what you want and getting less in a compromise, you ask for what you want and then some, and when all is said and done, you get what you wanted in the first place at minimum.
A good personal injury attorney is also quite able to appeal to the emotions of a jury. This is less a matter of negotiation as much as it is a “chip” they may flash to make the opponent buckle under the pressure.
For instance, imagine if a prospective trial in front of a jury involved a little old lady having been hit by someone who was driving under the influence.
No attorney is going to want to see that go to trial, not in a million years, not if they can help it, especially if their client has a record of charges for driving under the influence. A good personal injury attorney will use this information effectively in the negotiations, and if your opponent has any sense, they will undoubtedly choose to settle.
Evidence is, of course, key in the negotiation process. Emotion and words do help a lot, but in most cases, having a strong case that would get the defendant laughed out of court if they tried to fight it can be incredibly damning to any defense that may be put forth.
There is a lot of evidence that one may have at their disposal, one of the more prominent examples being eyewitness testimony, police reports of the incident, and information on all involved drivers (as discussed above).
It may also be prudent to provide your records in this situation if they are beneficial to you. In negotiation, a good poersonal injury attorney may also suggest that they will pursue the cell phone records of the other driver, in order to demonstrate that the driver may have been using their cell phone at the time of the incident.
On the other hand, a bad negotiator can sometimes make the case worse than it may already be. Quality negotiation tactics are invariably going to employ a deep understanding of what to say, when to say it, where it is appropriate, how to express it, and overall, why.
Such a lawyer must be able to parry any response the opponent may attempt to throw at you. If they are unable to, it is only going to make said opponent more willing and able to strike against your case.
Lawyers will often try to get a settlement going to avoid going to trial, though if your lawyer shows them weakness, they may think it safe to go to trial, worth the risk that they may lose. If you do need assistance in getting a good negotiator for your personal injury case, contacting Guajardo & Marks Law Firm is your best bet.