If you want more settlement money for your personal injury case, you need the evidence to back it up. I can't call the insurance company and say, "Hey listen, my client appreciates your offer of $50,000 to settle their case, but we want $250,000. Oh we have no evidence it's worth that much, but my client really wants more money!" The adjuster is going to need "proof" that your case is worth it.
That's not to say adjusters aren't stingy - many certainly are far too conservative when estimating case value. However, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes the inverse is true - Sometimes, the injured client is greedy and has an inflated sense of their case's worth.
I recently had a case where my client was in a very bad car accident. She was offered $75,000 to settle her case which was a good ballpark starting point for negotiations. My client said, "But my shoulder still hurts me! I want enough money to last my lifetime! What if this continues to bother me?" I explained to her that I understood her shoulder hurt, but her MRI results were all negative, and the neurologist was also unable to find anything wrong. I explained that this personal injury case was not designed to be her "retirement plan." I told her, "We can't just go up to the jury and pound our fists and stomp our feet - we need evidence! The MRI report and neurologist's findings are negative!"
I don't mean to be discouraging, but I'm just trying to drive this point home - your desire for more settlement dollars has to be supported by more than your "demand" for more! You need hard evidence. If the evidence is there, then I have no problem asking for more settlement dollars if the insurance company is being unreasonable. We will present our case to a jury if necessary. However, my job is to make my clients aware of the realities. My job is NOT to tell them what they want to hear. Adjusters and juries are a stingy bunch, and they want to see hard evidence of your injury.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,