A few weeks ago, we took a case to arbitration. Long story short, our client elected to take an offer that I believed was far below what we could have won, because they needed the money now. It's a frustrating moment for any attorney, to be sure. But it got me thinking, this situation reminds me of one of the most essential questions to ask before you settle your case:
Are you settling the case because you need the money, or because it’s truly at full value of your claim?
The answer to this question is obvious, but the reality is that most folks who sustain an injury also sustain severe financial hardship. Try to get the full value of your damages and not less from the defendant’s insurance company. You are settling and selling you personal injury claim and should get full price. Look to other sources to sustain you financially so you are not forced to settle for less. Get a lesser paying job with less physical demands for a while, move to a cheaper apartment or house, ask family members to work and contribute financially, etc.
Remember that the insurance company has both time and statistics on its side. If they do not prevail on your case, they may on the next one. They are in no rush to settle your case unless they can get an advantage by doing so. Claimants are emotionally and financially involved on a personal level in the outcome of their particular case.
Defense counsel and the insurance adjusters are not. Once more, advantage to the insurance company.
It is the insurance company that decides, by the settlement offers they make, which cases settle and which ones go to court. A review of verdicts does not necessarily include all those cases that settled prior to trial, or during trial, and prior to verdict. As a generalization therefore, it is often that the weaker cases from the plaintiff’s perspective that end up actually being tried to verdict.
Do not rush to settle your case if you are not getting the full value of your case.
Settling a case is stressful, but it’s important to be prepared with knowledge. Fortunately, we’ve literally written the book on settling a case and picking a lawyer! Tell ya what, let me give you a copy.
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When you have a personal injury case, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer you can trust. Make sure you are asking the right questions to help you make your decision.View More Details