First, you don’t get upset. It’s a common tactic.
Second, you have to try to figure out why the other side did this. Were they doing this to get to you, or were they trying to tell you that they think you have a bad case?
Lowballs are nothing new. They happen all the time, and they can make you feel really bad.
When I get one, I first address the issue of whether my initial demand is plausible. My Dad, a businessman who negotiated contracts his whole life, once told me “Don’t be afraid to ask for something unreasonable – the other side just might give it to you.” The flip side of this advice is that if the other side has figured out that your demand is unreasonable, you’re better off readjusting your goals.
Are the damages there? Can you prove them? Do they justify paying the doctors you will have to pay? Is the case free of “skeletons in the closet”?
Have you communicated to the other side what they need to know to evaluate the case properly? All the medical records?
If I can answer all these questions with a “yes”, then the problem is how do you get the other side to change. A lot of the best time, the answer is filing a lawsuit.
Lowball offers are dangerous, because they invite retaliation. The problem is that if you “retaliate” without a plan, you stand a good chance of killing further serious discussion occurs until a new head gets in the game.
Filing a new lawsuit usually changes the deciders on the other side. If your case is good, at some point, the person who authorized the lowball offer will probably encounter someone- a mediator, a judge, maybe even their own lawyer – who has a different view of the case.
About a year and one half ago, I demanded $160,000.00 in a car accident lawsuit where my client had sustained a permanent injury, and had had to hire help for his family to do what he had done before he was hurt.
I thought I had done a good job of communicating this to the insurance adjuster; but because my client’s actual medical bills were only $6,000.00, the insurance company did not assign much initial value, and the adjuster wrote me one of the most combative letters I had ever seen, offering $10,000.00.
I filed suit within a month, because I felt the adjuster was not going to deal with the case rationally.
A year later, after the insurance company had retained an attorney, changed adjusters, and hired a mediator, the case settled for over $50,000.00.
I have been a lawyer over 30 years. You always ask for the best and prepare for the worst. If you have a personal injury case in Cincinnati, Ohio or if you want to know what your lawsuit is worth, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.