Around 97% of civil cases in America end in settlement. That is because litigation is expensive and time consuming. People and companies alike would rather save money and time by sacrificing some of their demands for a quick settlement. However, most people do not have the required skills to negotiate a fair settlement. They either ask for too much or too little at the cost of their own interests. That is why experience is required to get the most out of your settlement. If you want to settle case in Virginia please find a Civil Law Attorney who can help you if you live near Fairfax, Loudoun, and Arlington and Prince William counties. If you don’t have the experience or the money for an attorney, you can follow these tips to help you get the most out of your settlement negotiation.
Don’t insult the other party – The biggest mistake people make in negotiating is insulting the other party with their initial ask. For instance, if I am suing you for $10,000.00 and your initial offer to settle the case is $100.00, it will only server to make me angry and want to go to trial. Its best to be reasonable with your offers.
- Ask what they want – Surprisingly, often times settlements have nothing to do with money. In my experience, services and words can go much further than you expect. An apology for instance can go a long way for some plaintiffs who are bent on revenge or suing for the principle of the case. Or when the case involves unfinished services, completing the services may resolve the problem.
- Remind them of the value of cooperation – When a trial ends, the prevailing party does not get a pile of money. They get a piece of paper that says they are owed money. Sure, they can use that paper to garnish the defendant but that is a just as lengthy and expensive process and getting a judgement in the first place. What is far more valuable than a judgement is cooperation. Forming a payment plan for the debt or damages and having a defendant actually make payments is far more valuable than lengthy garnishment procedures. If a settlement can be reached in where a defendant feels comfortable in making the payments for a reduction of the debt or damages, then a plaintiff will have more money, faster, and without the extra costs. A cooperating debtor is priceless compared to an unwilling garnished debtor.
- Stand your Ground – Making sacrifices and being reasonable does not mean being a total pushover. You have to stand your ground as well. If you are entitled to $10,000.00 but are willing to sacrifice $1,000.00 or $2,000 for a settlement then that’s fine. However, you should never give up more than you are comfortable with. Stand your ground and state, “I need at least $8,000.00. That is my final offer. I cannot go lower than that.” There are other ways to get what you want than giving up more ground. Extend the payment plan or get a confessed judgement for the whole amount if the debtor wants a bigger deduction.
- Never underestimate the power of a lump sum – The final tip is to not underestimate the power of money up front. If a plaintiff refuses to settle for less than $8,000 in payments over the course of a year, try offering them a one-time immediate payment of $6,000.00 rather than payments over time. Cash in hand is always more valuable to a plaintiff than speculative payments over time. If you don’t have the money for a lump sum, you can also do a mixed plan, $4,000.00 now, $3,000.00 over the course of a year. Once you start offering variety, settlement becomes more appealing as there are options to choose from rather than just a tug of war.
For the best legal advice for all settlement negotiations, contact the Mughal Law Firm in Alexandria, Va. The attorneys will be ready to answer all your questions with a consultation.