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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Negotiates Your Claim

Successful personal injury lawyers like Robert Hamparyan understand how to persuasively negotiate a fair personal injury claim with insurance adjusters who represent clients who have been blamed for causing personal injury.

In many ways, the negotiation process may seem rather similar to old-fashioned haggling at a market place. The plaintiff’s lawyer will have done a full costing to establish exactly what the injury has cost their client to date and how much it may cost in the future. This is particularly important if the accident victim is unlikely to fully recover, as ongoing medical support and treatment, as well as lost income, must be fully accounted for if the plaintiff is not to suffer financially.

Meanwhile, the insurer will make an attempt to keep the amount they may have to pay as little as possible. In fact, if there is any gap in the amount of supporting evidence then the insurer will usually try to get the claim dismissed altogether. The defendant may claim that he or she did not cause the injury or that the plaintiff’s injury was not the result of the accident (typically, it may be claimed that it was a prior injury), or that the amount asked for is unreasonable.

There will be several rounds of negotiations before a final settlement is agreed on, if at all. In most cases the settlement will take place without going to court. However, in a minority of cases with the defendant or their insurer playing hardball, the lawyer may decide to take the case to court.

What influences a claim award?

The likely success of the claim and the final amount awarded will depend on a number of different variables.

  • How convincing the available evidence is that an accident was linked to the plaintiff’s injury.
  • How convincing is the evidence that a particular individual, company or other body was liable for the accident, i.e. caused the accident.
  • Whether full medical records are available documenting the nature of the injury confirmation of how it might have been caused, the estimated date of the injury.
  • Clear documentation showing the extent of economic damages, principally medical expenses and lost income.
  • How experienced the lawyer is in preparing the claim and pursuing the negotiating phase.
  • Any state limitations imposed on the claim such as a cap on the amount awarded and the time period in which the claim must be made. See below for more detail about this.

Limitations on Claim Awards in California

Every state handles personal injury claims slightly differently. If you are pursuing someone who you think has injured you through negligence, then you should be aware of the limitations imposed by California on how much you can claim and how long this can be after an accident has taken place. It is most likely that you have chosen an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim like Robert Hamparyan of the San Diego based Hamparyan Law Firm. He will be able to explain what these limitations are and suggest what you should demand that comply with California law yet answer your injury needs.

California imposes a cap on non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, but does not do so for economic damages like medical expenses. The cap on non-economic damages is some single digit multiple of the amount claimed for economic damages.

To take an example, if the economic component of the claim is $40,000, and the multiple is 7, then the cap will be $280,000.

The other limitation is the period in which the plaintiff must make a claim after an injury. This is called the statute of limitations and is 2 years for private individuals or 6 months if the claim is against a government body.

Comparative negligence

In some accidents, it might happen that some degree of blame lies with the injured party. In California, the law is what is called ‘pure comparative negligence’. This means that the plaintiff is still allowed to make a claim even if they are partly to blame. The award will be based on a percentage, so, for example, if it is decided that the injured person was 40% to blame, then they will be awarded 40% of the claim amount asked for.

If you are seeking a personal injury lawyer in San Diego, you will find that Robert Hamparyan is both an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer. He works tirelessly to get the compensation you deserve and has won some outstanding awards for his clients.


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