Are Settlement Offers Negotiable in Pennsylvania Injury Cases?

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    After victims file injury lawsuits, defendants often respond with settlement offers. If an offer is too low, can you negotiate? Should you?

    You should not accept a settlement offer without negotiating in Pennsylvania. A defendant might not give you a fair offer even after aggressive negotiations. Because of this, and because jury awards might cover more of victims’ damages, it often benefits victims to go to court. You can do this, even if you have entertained settlement negotiations for a time. Negotiation strategies differ depending on the case, and our lawyers can leverage evidence during talks to gauge the outline of the defendant’s case. Even if you get what seems like a fair offer, do not accept it before consulting with our lawyers, as you could be eligible for additional damages at a trial, like punitive damages.

    Call (215) 709-6940 to discuss your case for free with The Reiff Law Firm’s Philadelphia personal injury lawyers.

    Can You Negotiate After Getting an Injury Settlement Offer in Pennsylvania?

    The first settlement offers victims get from defendants are the starting points, not necessarily the highest they are willing to go. In fact, initial offers are often low, much lower than what a victim truly deserves. To get more from defendants without going to court in Pennsylvania, victims might have to negotiate.

    While defendants expect victims to respond to low offers with counteroffers, they hope victims will accept low offers. If you do not negotiate a settlement and accept a bad offer, it might not cover all of your damages.

    To negotiate a defendant’s settlement offer, our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers will respond in writing with what we expect from the next offer. In this response, we can cite evidence to support the proposed settlement amount so that the defendant understands our reasoning.

    As a general rule, victims should not accept defendants’ first settlement offers, as these offers are typically low. Although our lawyers advise victims to go to court instead of settling for lesser compensation out of court, victims who do settle their claims should still negotiate for some time before doing so.

    So, yes, all settlement offers are negotiable, and victims should always view them as such, even if the first offer seems fair at face value.

    Settlement Negotiation Strategies for Pennsylvania Personal Injury Claims

    Employing the right negotiation strategies during settlement talks can help you gauge the opposing side’s defense and their willingness to settle. Even if you eventually take your case to court, negotiating for a bit can give us information we can later use in your case.

    Based on the defendant’s approach to settlement talks, our lawyers can gauge how quickly they want to resolve the matter. If the defendant is immediately hard to communicate with or disrupts negotiations early on, that can also influence how our lawyers approach talks with the defendant and their counsel.

    Leveraging evidence in settlement negotiations can convince defendants to settle at fair amounts or risk being liable for even more damages at a trial. While using this tactic can result in fast settlements in Pennsylvania if successful, it could also indicate that a victim would find success at a trial. If the defendant offers you a somewhat large sum right out of the gate, you might recover that and more at a trial. In these situations, our lawyers can help victims decide whether to accept a settlement or hold a negligent party accountable in court.

    When victims enter settlement negotiations without a strategy, they might not anticipate some of the more unsavory tactics defendants might use to convince victims to settle too fast.

    How Long Should You Negotiate a Settlement for a Pennsylvania Injury Case?

    Of the various reasons our lawyers advise victims to go to court for injury claims in Pennsylvania, one of the main reasons is because of how long settlement negotiations can take.

    If victims do not negotiate a defendant’s offer at all, they could settle within a few days or weeks. But, when victims request more compensation from defendants, negotiations might drag on for many more weeks, months, or years. The longer it takes a case to settle, the longer a victim is without compensation. Moreover, victims might continue incurring damages throughout settlement negotiations, damages that the defendant might refuse to cover fully in a settlement offer. So, you should not negotiate a settlement for too long, especially if you are dealing with overwhelming financial damages.

    While there are downsides to allowing settlement negotiations to drag on, doing so won’t affect your ability to have a trial, as you would have already filed your lawsuit in Pennsylvania.

    Negotiated Injury Settlements vs. Jury Awards in Pennsylvania

    While victims can negotiate fair settlements from defendants, they can also take a different route and have juries hear their injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania.

    Negotiated injury settlements rarely fully cover victims’ non-economic damages. While defendants might offer full compensation for financial losses, they might not appreciate or feel responsible for victims’ pain and suffering. Because settling means everyone needs to make compromises, including the victim, non-economic damages are often the first to be excluded from injury settlements.

    However, when victims bring lawsuits to court, they can prove their pain and suffering to a jury. The emotional damages you recover will be based on your specific experience and is up to the jury assigned to your case.

    Negotiated injury settlements can’t include punitive damages, as those are only awarded during trials in Pennsylvania. When defendants risk paying punitive damages because of their gross negligence, they might try to convince victims to accept large settlements. Our lawyers can determine if a settlement is fair or if you could get more compensation and special damages for gross negligence at a trial.

    Call Our Pennsylvania Injury Lawyers Today

    Call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to get a free case assessment from our Bucks County personal injury lawyers.

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