If you’ve been exposed to firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals, you may be considering legal action to seek compensation for your injuries. However, navigating a lawsuit can be complex and challenging, especially when settling the case. To increase your chances of success and maximize your compensation, it’s necessary to prepare carefully for settlement negotiations.
This article will share six tips and strategies to help you prepare for settlement in your AFFF lawsuit. By following these tips, you can confidently approach the settlement process and increase your chances of achieving a favourable outcome.
1. Understand Your Case
To build a strong case, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the facts, legal arguments, and the strength of the evidence supporting your claim. Carefully review all the available evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and other relevant information.
Understanding your case will help you better negotiate with the other party and make informed decisions about accepting or rejecting a settlement offer. Additionally, consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can provide legal guidance and help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
2. Document Your Damages
It includes any physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial losses you have suffered due to exposure to AFFF. It is crucial to maintain a record of all expenses related to medical treatment, lost income, and any other costs incurred due to your injuries.
Additionally, documenting how your injuries have affected your daily life is crucial. It includes things like the pain and suffering you have experienced and any limitations on your ability to work or enjoy your hobbies.
By thoroughly documenting your damages, you can demonstrate the full extent of your losses to the other party and strengthen your negotiating position.
According to Bloomberg, in an AFFF multidistrict litigation in the District Court of South Carolina, 3.5 million documents were produced by the petitioners over three years. The documents included document-ranging damages, like medical monitoring, property damage, and personal injury claims.
The case involved allegations that the manufacturers of AFFF knew about the health risks associated with PFAS chemicals but failed to warn the public.
3. Hire an Experienced Attorney
Dealing with an AFFF lawsuit can be daunting and intricate. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a skilled attorney who specializes in these cases. With their expertise, they can help you understand the complexities involved and offer legal advice on the best way forward for seeking compensation.
They can also negotiate with the other party on your behalf and ensure fair and increased AFFF lawsuit settlement amounts throughout the settlement process.
It’s necessary to choose an attorney with experience handling AFFF lawsuits and a track record of success in securing client compensation. They can help you identify potential areas of strength and weakness and recognize opportunities for settlement. They can provide you with invaluable legal guidance and advise you on how to approach negotiations with the defendant’s legal team.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of obtaining a fair and just settlement for the harm and losses you have suffered. According to Nolo, nine out of 10 people who hired personal injury lawyers received a settlement or were awarded through a verdict. However, only half received awards and settlements that did not hire an attorney.
4. Anticipate the Other Side’s Argument
It means considering the strengths and weaknesses of their case and how they might attempt to negotiate a lower settlement amount.
One way to anticipate the other side’s argument is to research similar AFFF cases and settlements. It can help you understand how the other side may approach negotiations and what arguments they are likely to make.
The other side may argue that the health risks associated with AFFF exposure are not yet fully understood or proven. However, studies have linked PFAS chemicals in AFFF to various health issues. For example, according to TorHoerman Law LLC, PFAS is linked to several types of cancers, changes in liver enzymes, increased cholesterol levels, and decreased response in vaccinated children.
The dangers of PFAS chemicals have been acknowledged by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has established a health advisory level for drinking water. Additionally, on March 14, 2023, the EPA proposed a national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) to address the issue.
This regulation applies to PFOA, PFOS, and four other PFAS and their mixtures. The proposed rule considers the latest scientific findings and is a response to the feedback provided by the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
When preparing for settlement negotiations in an AFFF lawsuit, setting realistic expectations is crucial. While it’s natural to want to receive the maximum compensation possible, it’s essential to consider the strength of your case and the potential outcomes of settlement negotiations realistically.
It’s necessary to remember that settlement negotiations are simple discussions, and both parties must compromise to resolve. Therefore, set realistic expectations for what you hope to achieve through settlement negotiations and be willing to make concessions if necessary. Again, an experienced attorney can help you assess your case’s strength and guide you on what a realistic settlement offer might be.
6. Stay Patient and Flexible
When pursuing a settlement in an AFFF lawsuit, staying patient and flexible throughout the negotiation process is necessary. Settlement negotiations can take time, and it’s important to avoid rushing into a settlement or becoming overly frustrated if progress is slow.
One way to stay patient and flexible in settlement negotiations is to be willing to consider different settlement options or compromise on certain aspects of your case. For example, you may need to adjust your expectations for settlement amounts or consider alternative compensation for health problems related to AFFF exposure.
It’s also important to remember that settlement negotiations are not always linear, and progress may be slow. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can remain patient and flexible and stay focused on achieving a successful outcome in your AFFF lawsuit settlement.
Right Strategies Can Bring Expected Outcomes
Pursuing a settlement in an AFFF lawsuit can be complex and challenging. However, obtaining a favourable outcome can be possible with effective strategies and proper guidance. It’s important to bear in mind that each AFFF lawsuit is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not applicable in settlement negotiations.
However, working with an experienced attorney who deeply understands AFFF lawsuits can help you develop a personalized strategy tailored to your specific needs.
If you or a loved one has suffered health problems related to AFFF exposure, taking action and pursuing the compensation you deserve is important. By following these six tips and strategies, you can confidently approach settlement negotiations in your AFFF lawsuit and increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome.