Credible, experienced and dedicated lawyers are a must.
When representing claimants in personal injury mediation or negotiations, your injury lawyer’s objective should be very clear:
“From a position of power, negotiate and enforce the legal rights of you, the client.”
Without proper legal representation, responsible insurance companies are reluctant to live up to their obligations. Insurers are unlikely to act quickly, pay optimal settlement amounts or acknowledge the full extent of the injury or damages.
Within the negotiation process, it’s your lawyer’s job to produce evidence, assert pressure and possibly even caution the insurer of their duties and contractual/policy obligations. Your lawyer should discuss what is most likely to happen when or if the claim goes to trail. This is refereed to as dispute resolution within the “shadow of the law”
Mediation Before Trial
In many jurisdictions overcrowding of the courts has made personal injury mediation/negotiation a requirement before going to court/trail. With the assistance of a third party mediator, the courts expect opposing parties to make reasonable attempts to seek acceptable resolutions to their dispute.
Negotiating From a Position of Power
Good injury lawyers and litigators require excellent communication and negotiation skills.
The best injury lawyers:
- Clearly understand all aspects of the case and can anticipate points of conflict before the negotiations even begin.
- They are well equipped and come to the table with overwhelming evidence, an expert’s knowledge of the law, legal precedence, statutes and legal doctrine.
- They keep their emotions out of the dispute and act solely in their client’s best interest.
- Understand and take into account the immediate financial/medical needs of the client as well as their future and long-term needs.
- Proven law firms negotiate from a position of power. They are persistent, and have the legal/ financial depth to go the distance when its needed.
- Experienced lawyers are confident in their position and hold strong in defending the terms of a successful outcome. An outcome that is favorable in relation to the injury, limits of the policy and to the needs of the client.
Client Centric Law Firms Can Offer Victims an Advantage
Personal injury lawyers who are confident, experienced and willing to go to court can offer injury victims an advantage.
Successful, client centric personal injury lawyers understand that building strong case files and proving damages can take time. The full extent of losses, suffering and exposure can become more evident over a reasonable amount of time. Expert testimony and demonstrative evidence can be further established. Lawyer case loads have to be carefully managed, giving the lawyer the necessary time to prepare each injury claim fully. A good injury lawyer makes himself available to the client and diligently communicates claim updates, case direction and timelines.
For the Seriously Injured, A Poor Outcome Spells Disaster
We have all seen law firms that litter bus ads and commercials. Law firms that have created a business model based on volume and quick turnovers leave many injury victims rightly concerned.
Law firms with lawyers fresh out of law school, poorly prepared case files often cite damages that are not adequately proven. Law firms that have a reputation of premature and reduced settlements pose little threat to opposing councel. The “shadow of the law” and going to trial is then no longer a credible deterrent or motivator to reach a favorable settlement – in relation to the injury, limits of the policy or the needs of the client.
Having the ability to negotiate from a position of power, create dialog, influence and assert pressure is the secret to a timely and favorable settlement. If an outcome cannot be reached through negotiation than going to court needs to be a credible threat.