Your Experience With Accident Cases
You should not negotiate your own case if you have not handled a case like this in the past. Negotiating a settlement can require a high learning curve. When a large amount of money is on the line, it is not the time to learn how to represent yourself, especially when you will likely be under a lot of stress.
The Severity Of The Accident
If the accident was relatively minor, the store may be willing to offer a quick settlement and even pay extra for the inconvenience in order to put the incident behind them. However, if the injuries are serious, the case is much more likely to be adversarial as the defendant wants to minimize financial expenses.
In some cases, you know that the defendant is at fault, but you do not have sufficient evidence to prove it. For instance, there may not have been any witnesses to testify. Or, it may look like you caused a car accident, but another motorist was driving too fast and was under the influence, complicating who is at fault. You may have been unable to take pictures of your injuries or the accident because you were incapacitated. Under these circumstances, it is essential that you hire an accident attorney.
Estimating The Damages
Another problem involves estimating the damages. The defendant may be more than willing to accept a low settlement offer when you have not properly accounted for all of the expenses you have incurred. Not only must you pay for your medical expenses, but any future medical expenses that you incur down the line, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your attorney will have experience assessing what your expenses are most likely to be and can argue for why you deserve a higher settlement.
Do not offer the settlement from the defendant without consulting with an attorney. The settlements are usually lower than what you can expect to receive. But with persistence, you will get an offer closer to what you deserve.