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Rushing in settlement negotiations could cost you money

Patience is a virtue in settlement negotiations. Car accidents can cause life-changing injuries. Inexperience can lead to bad timing in settlement negotiations that can lead to a bad outcome.

1. You could sell yourself short. Some insurance claims adjuster will invariably offer the victim of a car crash some money that may seem like a lot. However, if your problems are still persisting and still require treatment, you may not have a full picture of the extent of your injuries. Typically, doctors will not give an opinion on whether or not your injuries are permanent until six months to a year after you were injured. The doctor may not decide until further treatment that you will require surgery. If you agree to a settlement before then, you run the risk of settling your case for much less than it's worth.

2. Negotiation evaluation requires experience. An experienced negotiator brings insight on what the other side is willing to offer. An adjuster offered my client a reasonable sum of money, and my client was anxious to accept. I advised patience because I believed, based upon what was said during negotiations, that the adjuster was holding back some money. Two days later I had secured a 40% increase in the last offer. My client's patience paid off.

3. Timing can be significant. Sometimes the discovery process dictates the pace. Settlement negotiations may be premature if little to no discovery has been conducted. We need to allow the insurance company to understand the full scope of my client's injuries. Otherwise, their offers will be lower than the injuries' true value. Additionally, certain evidence may have a significant impact on the value of the case, good or bad. In one case, a defense attorney told me that had he known what he just read in the paper about my client, he would have never agreed to settle for the amount we agreed upon the week before. Of course, I knew that. Timing sometimes can be everything. Knowing when to settle before or after certain evidence is discovered could be critical in maximizing your recovery.

Effective settlement negotiations require patience, experience, insight, and a complete working knowledge of the facts. An experienced adjuster is expertly trained to minimize the settlement payout, and the basic consumer is overmatched in settlement negotiations.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact The Wilhoit Law Office. We will work hard to maximize the settlement value of your case. And, if the defense is reluctant to settle the case for the full value, then they know I will take the case to a jury for justice.

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