The compensation package granted to the claimant/plaintiff, and the tactics used during the negotiations vary greatly from case to case. Still, the processes followed stay similar in all cases.
Focus of lawyers that have agreed to take a personal injury case
• Filing claimant’s papers
• Making the necessary motions
• Reviewing the state’s statute of limitations
• Speaking with witnesses and gathering additional evidence
Each of the above actions aids the determination of liability, and also adds to the facts that could support or refute an allegation that the defendant had been negligent. In the absence of supportive facts, a lawyer would not be able to file the personal injury case for a prospective client.
In a typical case, personal injury lawyers assist with negotiations and resolving settlement-related issues.
Lawyer looks for source of funds from which compensation might come
• Funds from insurance company
• Funds from sale of defendant’s assets
• Salary that might be garnished
If a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa were to discover that there was no source of funds, then that same attorney would refuse to take the case that had been discussed during the period of consultation.
How does a similar process rely on unique negotiating tactics, while managing to yield so many different compensation packages?
Different negotiators excel at demonstrating a unique set of skills. Some have managed to get the evidence organized in a most helpful manner. Others have learned how to display patience, when speaking with the insurance adjuster. Obviously, each negotiator tends to have achieved a specific and definite level of organization or patience.
Regardless of its level, the negotiators’ patience has to be combined with persistence. Naturally, not every negotiator finds it possible to blend patience and persistence in the same fashion. The existence of certain factors could work to decrease the size of the offered compensation package.
• Evidence of shared fault
• Low limits on the defendant’s policy
• Injured party sought treatment from a chiropractor, instead of an MD.
• Injured party had not retained a personal injury lawyer
The existence of other factors could serve to increase the size of the compensation package.
• Plaintiff suffered a severe injury; if it had caused a disability or disfigurement, the defendant would be liable for compensating the plaintiff’s need to recover from tremendous losses.
• Defendant’s actions had been egregious.
• Plaintiff had reported experiencing a period of unconsciousness, following involvement in the accident.
• Plaintiff’s demand letter had been well organized, and it had included a picture of the damaged vehicle, while at the accident site.
• Bulk of plaintiff’s medical bills had come from physicians, and not from a facility that had aided the attainment of a diagnosis.
• Formation of plaintiff-lawyer team had indicated that lack of cooperation could trigger lawsuit.