New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Negotiating Settlements after a Car Accident
Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Car Accidents
Those who have been injured in New York car accidents are entitled to compensation that covers the cost of the medical treatment, pain and suffering endured, loss of earnings or income, and so on. This compensation is typically to be paid by the auto insurance company of the at fault driver. However, when the injured person directly files a request for compensation with the insurance company they find that they are denied the full compensation due to them. However, a personal injury lawyer will work differently and use a different negotiating technique to ensure that you are paid the compensation due to you.
To better understand the negotiating techniques a personal injury lawyer will employ to ensure that you are fairly compensated, take a look at the Pawn Stars show on the History Channel. In the show, people come to the pawn shop and hope to be able to sell an item they own (unless they want to pawn it but these people are never covered in the show).
When they enter the shop and ask for a particular sum for the item they are selling, the pawn shop owner invariably refuses to pay this sum and instead points out the various defects of the item. There may be very little defects though and sometimes the owner receives the full value or even more than what they hoped to receive if the item is more valuable than they originally thought.
Sometimes and furthermore, an expert is brought in to value the item if the employee or owner does not know the value of the item and/or the asking price of the owner is significant. Then a final price is arrived at based on what the expert says. This is normally lower than the original asking price of the seller for whatever reason.
Accident Settlement Negotiations
Something similar happens when you try and negotiate a compensation settlement after an accident. If you begin with what you think is the fair payment, the insurance company is likely to negotiate lower after pointing out a lot of flaws in your claim. They might also bring in expert testimony and further reduce the amount they need or want to pay for the settlement. When you are hurt in the hospital or your transportation has been destroyed, this is not usually as pleasant though as in the Pawn Stars show.
When you hire legal help to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company after an accident, you will be able to have an expert negotiator on your side. The lawyer will first assess all the possible claims you have against the insurance company and then start at a higher figure. While the insurance company then will try and bring down the compensation amount, your lawyer has left you with some room to negotiate. This is because the original amount asked as settlement was high, the lawyer can afford to come down a bit even as the insurance company also agrees to pay slightly more than their original offer.
On the other hand, if you begin with the amount you actually want, you have fixed the upper ceiling and now any negotiation will only lead to a lower compensation. This means that you will end up with a lower than expected compensation.
While there are many interesting aspects to the Pawn Starts show, one of them is certainly the way people negotiate the prices of the goods they bring in. By stating their expectations first, they end up placing a ceiling on the price they can obtain. A brilliant lawyer will help you negotiate a better compensation from an insurance company by establishing a high ceiling that leaves room for negotiation.