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Three Body Language Don'ts During Settlement Discussions

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If you, your attorney, and the other party and his or her attorney in a personal injury case are eager to settle your legal matters instead of heading to court, you'll be saving time and money for everyone. In order to do so, there may be an opportunity to all sit down together in a mediated session. This session can certainly be stressful, but it can also put you a step closer to having the issue resolved so that you can move forward in your life. You can expect the energy in the room to be tense, so it's important to avoid worsening the situation by making any of these three body language mistakes.

Eye Rolling

Rolling your eyes might seem tempting at multiple times during this session. For example, if you're asking for a specific amount of damages and the other side's attorney presents you and your legal team with an offer of 25 percent of what you're asking, it may be easy to roll your eyes. What you're not necessarily considering, however, is how this small action can worsen the situation. Eye rolling seems dismissive, which can make the other side defensive and puts up a wall between both sides that prevents constructive conversation. You might be insulted by the settlement offer, but it's best to avoid rolling your eyes.


In general, nodding is an agreeable form of body language that you may feel can help the negotiation process in your personal injury case. When the talk of settlement numbers of comes up, it's possible that you hear a number that you like — and you may respond with a subtle nod of your head. The problem with doing so is that your attorney may feel that the offer is low and will counsel you to decline it. If you've already been spotted nodding, it sends a mixed message.

Crossing Your Arms

When you sit with your arms crossed, the other side may read your body language as you being unwilling to negotiate, given the closed-off posture that you've adopted. A bit of flexibility from both sides is necessary to come to an agreement, especially if you want to do so in a timely manner. Try to get into the habit of sitting with your hands folded in your lap or on the table in front of you — you'll be sending more of a message that you're up to negotiate, rather than being inflexible.

For more tips, contact a local firm like Meadows Law Office