I recently met with a potential client who was seriously injured. She had been working on trying to obtain a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company before meeting with us. After exchanging some information, the liability insurance company made an offer to settle the case. The client did not feel the settlement offer was adequate, so she contacted us.
The client was concerned that she might be in a worse position even with a larger offer, by hiring a lawyer. After all, wouldn’t attorneys fees and other costs come out of her settlement
Although there are no guarantees in pursuing a case, the likelihood of being in a worse position hiring an injury law firm is slight. Let me highlight a few reasons why.
Experienced Injury Lawyers Have Experience in Calculating the Value of Your Case
An experienced injury lawyer will make sure that all factors that increase the value of your claim will be considered. For example, you might need future medical care, such as an expensive surgery, that needs to be factored in for a settlement.
Additionally, the insurance company may be discounting the settlement offer based on their false assertion that proving liability will be difficult. Sometimes the insurance company even picks an arbitrary percentage of fault, like 50%, to reduce their offer by that percentage.
An experienced injury lawyer will make sure to gather all of the relevant facts that prove your case – such as independent witness statements, photographs of the scene, surveillance videos, and other physical evidence.
Negotiating Medical Bills and Liens
Although your gross settlement amount is usually the number clients focus on, the most important factor in a settlement is the net amount a client receives. For example, your lawyer might be able to negotiate the medical liens or health insurance company reimbursements so that the client’s recovery far exceeds even a larger offer. And most law firms do not charge any additional attorneys fees to work on getting medical reimbursements decreased, even if they have to argue the issue in court.
Your Lawyer Should Work With You
Most lawyers will make sure that any previous settlement offers are factored into your fee agreement. For instance, a lawyer may discount their fee if there was an offer before they were hired. Additionally, some lawyers will only take a fee on any funds above and beyond the current offer. If not, ask why. Make sure that you discuss this issue with your attorneys before signing a fee agreement with an injury law firm. It is important to be on the same page with your attorneys from the first meeting and throughout the case.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about a settlement offer or any aspect of your injury case, call us for a free consultation.