One of the things you should be looking for when you choose a personal injury attorney is an outstanding negotiator. While any personal injury attorney should be prepared for litigation, the ability to build a case and then use that case to negotiate will matter the most to the final outcome of your case.
Here are three places in your case where negotiation will matter a great deal.
#1) Few Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial
92% of personal injury cases are settled out of court.
Litigation is uncertain. Most cases are fairly straightforward. The risks and costs of going to litigation don’t outweigh the potential gains.
There are times when insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement, and there are unusual cases. But for the most part, both sides already know what the worst case and best-case scenario is. Both sides already know they’re going to meet somewhere in the middle of these two figures. The rest is just details…but of course you want a lawyer who is going to be good at getting closer to that best case scenario.
#2) Pain and Suffering Awards are All Negotiation
There is no formal chart encoded into the law to determine the size of a pain and suffering award. It’s somewhat fixed to your economic damages. In most cases a multiplier between 1.5 and 5 will be assigned to your case, and that multiplier will be applied to your economic damages.
So, for example, if you have $100,000 in economic damages, and your multiplier is 2, then you’ll receive $200,000 in pain and suffering damages for a total case value of $300,000.
Obviously, the size of that multiplier can really matter. Even increasing a 2x multiplier to a 2.5x multiplier can translate into major differences in the size of your settlement. You want an attorney who can negotiate well enough to nudge that multiplier as high as possible.
#3) Negotiation Impacts Fault Percentages
In most New York personal injury cases, each party will be assigned a percentage of fault. It could be 99% to 1%, it could be 25% to 75%. It could be 50% to 50%. Either party may sue for damages, but the eventual award will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault you’re assigned.
So, if you get a $100,000 award, but are assigned 20% of fault, then you will only get $80,000. If your attorney can negotiate the assignment of fault down to 15%, then you’ll get to keep a much greater percentage of your award.
Get Help from an Expert Negotiator Today
We have negotiated thousands of personal injury settlements and are ready to help you with yours. Contact us for a free case review today.