This is the fourth part of the 5-part blog series about the pitfalls of trying to settle your own New York personal injury claim without a lawyer. Here’s pitfall number 4
4. DON’T ASK FOR TOO MUCH, OR TOO LITTLE, TO SETTLE YOUR CASE. Let’s face it; you have no idea how much your case is worth. Even an experienced New York personal injury lawyer has a hard time putting a number on some injury cases. So many factors come into play: your age, how strong your “liability” looks, how bad the injury is, and how long it will last, your state of health and whether you have “pre-existing injuries”, what county the case must be tried in, and a few dozen other factors.
You might think you know how much your case is worth because a friend of a friend had the same or a similar injury, and his lawyer got him x amount. But that friend of a friend might have had a stronger or weaker liability case than you, and he might be older or younger, and he might have had, or not, pre-existing injuries to the same body part. All these things will make your case different from his, so it is a mistake to think your case is worth what he got.
No matter what you ask for, it is probably going to be a mistake. If you ask for too little, the adjuster will convince you it is too much, and low-ball you to hell. And if you ask for too much, and stick to it, the adjuster will not settle at all. Then you will have to go to trial — and if you do that without a lawyer, well, in law school they used to say, “anyone who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer” . . .
But anyway, remember, DON’T ASK FOR TOO MUCH, OR TOO LITTLE. Ask for a little more than what’s fair (enough to give you some bargaining room).
Stay tuned for Party V.
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Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels Bersani Kalabanka