Your Attorney Will Help Manage Conflict So You Stay Out of Court

The settlement of your personal injury case can be achieved through negotiation and litigation, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The most desirable solution is a careful negotiation that can lead to a “win-win” resolution: the settlement of your lawsuit to the satisfaction of both parties.
The settlement of your personal injury case can be achieved through negotiation and litigation, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The most desirable solution is a careful negotiation that can lead to a “win-win” resolution: the settlement of your lawsuit to the satisfaction of both parties.

According to Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, “Dispute resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach,” meaning a combination of litigation (legal power) and negotiation that attempts to bring together the interests of both parties to the lawsuit. The authors of the Harvard special report point to several strategies that can work to resolve a conflict.
  • You are always the ultimate decision maker, but you must remember that your attorney is your strongest ally, who will advocate for you as well as educate and advise you about your case.
  • Are you under the sway of your own emotions? You may be morally, legally, and every which way in the right, but your passion for winning may leave no room for negotiation. How much are you willing to pay for your urge to litigate until you can say, “I won”? Keep your true underlying interests in mind, and expand your outlook to finding other creative ways to satisfy them.
  • A more open-minded attitude allows you and your attorney to keep lines of communication open between plaintiff and defendant whenever possible. Both sides are needed to discuss alternative ways to resolve the dispute.
  • You are not the only one who is concerned about the financial costs of your case. When both plaintiff and defendant see their legal bills mounting, both sides may become willing to be a little more flexible.
  • As hard as it may be to slow down, take a breath, and listen, that is the best approach, especially with difficult opponents. With the assistance of your attorney, listen to and acknowledge their points, then try to engage them in finding an alternative solution.  You don’t have to like or agree with the other side, but you may be able to understand their viewpoint.
” Interest-based bargaining” can take place even after legal action has been initiated. Instead of focusing only on the financial issues, think about the preferences of both parties, and come up with mutually beneficial trade-offs. A creative resolution will recognize each party’s ongoing interests.
Remember: every case is different, and case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case.  Case results in one case do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.
Craig Follis has extensive experience in litigation, negotiating and settling suits, and providing legal opinions on liability and insurance coverage. You can reach him at 888-703-0109 or via email at cfollis@lawyersva.com.

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