Accepting what your lawyer recommends in terms of accepting a settlement depends mainly on how much you trust your lawyer.
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Comparing Jury Verdicts
There’s something called jury verdicts, which we can compare – similar injury, similar locations, similar types of accidents. See the people that have taken that to a jury trial; what have they gotten on those cases? How much money was awarded?
Reached an Impasse
Also, as an attorney, I have experience and knowledge about negotiations. So I negotiate with the insurance adjuster usually for at least several weeks at the time that we maybe have reached an impasse.
And so I’m able to assess whether I think we’ve gone far enough or there is more movement I can get out of that insurance company. So when I’m telling my client that I think we’ve gone as far as we can, that We’re not moving that insurance adjuster anymore, we always have the opportunity to take it to a jury trial.
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Assessing Pros and Cons of Going to Trial
And then, finally, we look at the risk factors both the insurance company and you, as the client, are looking at risk factors. Will I do worse if I go to trial? It’s our job to give you a warning about whether we think you would do worse at trial. So in order to make your determination, it’s very reasonable to agree. But it’s important to know the pros and cons of going to trial, and really, the cons come down to time, money, and risk.
So time, it is very likely that it will take probably an additional year to two years to get to a trial from the point of negotiations. It’s well worth waiting that time if you can do better if they’re not giving you an appropriate resolution for your case. But just remember that there is time. You have to factor that in.
Second of all, money; there’s the cost of going to a jury trial. It costs a lot of money to try a case. Most experienced attorneys realize that at least $50,000 of cost to pay doctors and experts to testify on your behalf is what it’s going to cost to go to trial in your case. So to go to trial in your case could cost an extra $50,000 that’s going to come out of any resolution.
So if you choose to go to trial, make sure that you understand that risk; the risk of doing worse. You could end up with a result that’s worse than the one that we’ve negotiated for you. So understand that too.
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But in the end, it is your choice. Consider the time, money, and risk of going to trial. Accepting what your lawyer recommends depends on how much you trust your lawyer. I believe that communication and trust with your attorney is the most important thing.
And with that, then make your decision, and the lawyer can choose to either go along with that or you can get another lawyer.
But you should get out of this based on what you feel is appropriate.