SHOULD I ACCEPT A SETTLEMENT OFFER?
In most cases, there will come a time when your lawyers have negotiated the settlement offer as high as it will go—the insurance adjuster or defense lawyer tells us that there will be no further offers (whether true or untrue—we’ll help you determine whether we believe it or not). The question becomes: Do I settle or move forward.
Answering this question depends on you—I frequently tell my clients that they are in the driver’s seat—my job is to give the best advice that I can, but in the end, we will do what the client wants. As the lawyer, we cannot settle a case without a client’s permission. So, here are the facts that we give the client:
- What does the settlement mean for you? I want my clients to know the amount of money they will receive in their pocket after a settlement. This means, I tell them where every penny is going to go. What medical expenses are outstanding, what health insurance liens exist, how much are case expenses and attorneys’ fees. Depending on the stage of the case, some of that might not be fully ascertained, but we can usually give a very close idea (for example, Medicare liens take a long time to resolve). Most clients don’t care what the final settlement amount is, they simply want to know, importantly, how much money they will get in their pockets after all expenses are paid.