April 1, 2015

Open-Minded Negotiation: Why you should Carefully Consider Every Offer

Categories: Working with your attorney

Consult with a Tampa civil lawyer to understand your options.

During most civil cases, there comes a period of negotiation, where you start trading proposed settlements with the other party. For example, you, through your accident attorney, may tell the other driver the amount of money you would prefer to receive in the case. This is normally an amount you feel you could receive if you went to trial, and you are giving the defendant a chance to simply pay that amount and avoid the expense and stress of a trial.

In many cases, the other party will respond with a low number and suggest that you accept their number instead of yours to avoid the expense and stress of a trial yourself.

As aggravating as it can be, such is the normal process of negotiation.

Before you ball their settlement offer up and return it to them along with a few colorful words, there are a few things you should consider, together with your attorney:

• Trials are expensive, both in time and in money. If you can reach a settlement out of court, even if it’s lower than you hoped it might be, you will save yourself the time and expense of the trial. Your attorney can help you figure out if that makes the low offer a good deal for you, on balance.

• Their low offer may actually be higher than what the jury will eventually award. Though it’s difficult to contemplate, it is possible that the jury will sympathize more with their case than with yours, and will award you nothing, or a mere fraction of what the other side is offering.

• Their low offer might not be available later. If you discover new information that harms your case, you could later feel that the low offer was actually generous, and will wish to have it back. If, however, you don’t accept or actively reject an offer, the other party is not required to keep it available for you.

Any time you receive an offer to settle the case, meet with your attorney, keep an open mind, and carefully consider the pros and cons of accepting it. You may eventually choose to continue negotiating for a different amount, or even to go to trial, but you should at least be able to look back and know that your decision was thoughtfully made.

If you are in need of a legal malpractice, personal injury, medical malpractice, accident, or whistleblower lawyer in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay attorneys of Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore would be pleased to speak with you. We fight aggressively to protect the rights of our clients. Click here or call us today at (813) 225-4000 to schedule a free consultation.

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