Using and Creating Leverage to Settle Your Personal Injury Case
by Anthony Hirschberger
As one of New York’s most respected personal injury firms, the skilled trial attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are always willing to go to trial if that is what is in the best interest of the client. However, on many occasions trial by jury is not the best option for the client when a fair settlement of guaranteed money can be reached or if a client simply does not wish to take the risk of a trial and would prefer a settlement.
Recently, trial attorney Anthony Hirschberger was able to secure three settlements for clients for whom settlement was the preferred outcome. But even if a case is settled, it is still important to have skilled, knowledgeable, personal injury attorneys to ensure that the best result is reached and that the settlement is truly for the maximum amount that the defendant’s insurance company is willing to pay.
To accomplish that, the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP always prepare every case as if it will be tried to verdict even if the client ultimately wants a settlement. The reason for that is that the single most important asset that a negotiator has is leverage. When the defense credibly believes you can go the distance and potentially secure a large verdict at trial, that is one form of leverage to help us get the best settlements for our client.
However, there are other forms of leverage. One of them is to use the threat of an adverse court ruling against your adversary to effectively create and use leverage to maximize the client’s settlement. For example, Mr. Hirschberger recently settled a case for an injured laborer who fell from an elevator for the full primary insurance limits of one million dollars more than a year before trial. By filing a motion for summary judgment prior to the settlement negotiations he was able to create negotiating leverage to force the defense to pay much more than they initially offered to settle the case and secure a very favorable settlement for his client.
In two other automobile accident cases, Mr. Hirschberger used time as leverage. In one case, by walking out of a scheduled mediation after an offer of $100,000 was made to settle the case and forcing the defense to court, he was able to secure a settlement of $835,000. This is an example of using time and the threat of immediate trial to drastically improve the settlement offer. Similarly, in an automobile case involving an injured laborer, Mr. Hirschberger and Mr. Rose walked out of a scheduled mediation after an offer of $400,000 was made to settle the case. Believing that this was too low of an amount the attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP continued to prepare the case for trial and with a trial date imminent, were able to secure a settlement of 1.25 Million dollars for their client.
Even if you feel that you want your case settled rather than tried it is still important to seek out skilled and knowledgeable trial attorneys who know how to use and create leverage to get you the most money possible for your injury case.