When you are seeking the full compensation you are due, that may include your pain and suffering damages. While it is generally more helpful to have legal representation, you do have options for negotiating pain and suffering without an attorney.
Learn more about Wagner Reese, LLP’s personal injury services on our personal injury page. Our attorneys are well regarded for our extensive accolades and recognition from peers, as well as a track record of success. While negotiating without a lawyer is possibly in theory, our team has everything you may need to get the compensation you are seeking.
Understanding pain and suffering claims
Your compensatory damages are typically split into two groups: economic and non-economic. Pain and suffering falls under the non-economic umbrella, which includes any damages you have suffered that cause intangible damage or laws.
For example, you may have been in a traumatic car accident. When this happens, you may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and you may be due pain and suffering damages.
Looking for legal guidance? Find out about our experience in car accident cases by visiting our car accident cases page.
Factors influencing the negotiation process
When you choose to seek pain and suffering damages without an attorney, there are certain factors that can impact your negotiation process and affect your ability to get compensated fairly. If you are unaware of these issues, it can leave you paying out of pocket for your suffering.
Some factors that can influence the negotiation process are your actions after the accident and how expensive your recovery may be. First, the insurance company will be observing you as closely as they can, and they will be trying to catch you showing signs that you are not suffering. For example, you may have raked your yard on a low-pain day, only for the insurance company to claim that you are better.
Your claim may also be impacted if you are seeking out a higher amount of damages for your recovery. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, meaning they may try to maximize their profits while minimizing your settlement. For those with expensive claims, this can mean more bad-faith tactics on the part of the insurance company.
Preparing for negotiations
If you plan to approach this process without legal representation, you may need to know how to negotiate pain and suffering on your own. That includes preparing you for the negotiation process.
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for negotiations is to gather all your documents and information for your case. Be sure to prepare any physical documents, as well as any documents you are using to keep track of the progress of your pain and suffering damages.
Compiling evidence to support your claim
Compiling evidence to support a pain and suffering claim can be difficult. Pain and suffering is intangible, meaning you do not have a specific bill or expense tied to it. Instead, you will need to keep track of the intensity of your suffering and the ways it has impacted your life.
Many legal sources suggest keeping a diary or journal where you can track the pain and suffering you experience on a daily basis. This document can be a powerful tool to determine how your condition has progressed throughout your case.
Other evidence may include witness testimony about your situation. For example, you may have caretakers for people close to you that could testify about these specifics of your condition and the pain and suffering you have experienced.
Tips for effective negotiation without a lawyer
Negotiating effectively without a lawyer can be difficult, but there are certain steps you can take to make negotiation easier. This is in addition to ensuring you are following the statutes and regulations regarding pain and suffering claims closely.
First, remember to stay calm. While representing your own case can be an emotional experience, it can cause trouble for you. Maintaining a level head, so you can focus on the amount you are seeking and the evidence you have to support your claim may be more useful.
Remember as well that the at-fault party is trying to protect their own interests. Because of this, you may find yourself dealing with a lowball settlement offer. Because of this, one of the other top tips we have is to always review the settlement offer before you accept it.
Common mistakes to avoid during negotiation
When you do not have an attorney, that means you have to handle every step of the process on your own. That can be difficult, and it is easy to make mistakes. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the common issues and mistakes you may make if you are unprepared for mediation.
One of the most common mistakes is admitting fault. Even if you think you were potentially partially responsible for the accident, admitting fault simply reduces the compensation you can receive for your claim. That puts you at risk of losing your opportunities for recovery.
Another common mistake is failing to document every part of your suffering for the compensation you are due. Non-economic damages can be more difficult to document because they are not tangible, but certain tools like a diary or pain scale can help you identify the severity of your suffering.
Knowing when to seek legal representation
Negotiating pain and suffering without legal help can feel nearly impossible, but fortunately, you do not have to do it. You can instead reach out to the attorneys at Wagner Reese, LLP.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, or you are afraid that you may lose your chance to be compensated fairly, our attorneys have a track record of success, 20 years of experience, and accolades that span many prestigious legal organizations.
We also offer free consultations, so that you always know what to expect before you file a claim. When you are ready to file, do not hesitate to reach out by calling 866-828-0308 or by completing our online contact form.