Sometimes you need a few strategies to be sure that you maximize your personal injury settlement amount. An experienced personal injury attorney will use these tactics in virtually every case, and you should too.
Do not offer your opinions to the adjuster. When you speak to anyone other than your attorney about the case, stick to the facts. Do not tell them what you think happened or give your opinions. Instead, share dates, times, locations and your basic information. Feel free to offer your opinions to your lawyer, but your opinion shouldn’t leave your attorney’s office.
Never lie. Although attorneys seem infamous for lying, lying is never a good settlement or litigation tactic. You should also avoid exaggerating as well. If someone catches you (or your attorney) in a lie, then your credibility will be destroyed.
The other side will bring up the statement in front of a jury and the jury will be unable to trust you. That means that a simple lie or misstatement can cost you a settlement or the entire case.
Never let your guard down. Both you and your attorney have to be very careful about how you phrase responses and even casual conversation. Becoming too friendly with the insurance adjuster can make you slip up. Even stating that you are “fine” when they ask how you are doing could damage your case.
Consider and explain every aspect of your life that your injury has effected. Make a list of ways your injury has affected your life. If you used to hunt, for example, but can no longer walk long distances or sit in one spot for too long, then your attorney needs to know. All of these tiny effects add up and can increase your overall settlement.
Show the other side that you are willing to go to trial. Sometimes an insurance company will assume that you want to settle. If you express your willingness to go to trial, then they may offer more in settlement to avoid the cost and time of having a trial.
Generally speaking, your attorney will prepare as if the case is going to trial, so expressing your willingness to testify can allow your attorney a little leverage in negotiations.
(Almost) never take the first offer. Most first offers are going to be low. Do not jump at the first sign of compensation. Discuss the offer thoroughly with your attorney before you make any rash decisions. In many situations, if you wait it out just a little bit longer, the offer will increase.