Whether to take a Settlement offer: What’s next?

When a client has  a settlement offer on the table and has to take it or leave it, and knows that it is likely the maximum amount he will be offered to settle, he needs to consider the adverse consequences of turning it down.  This is a critical stage in the claim, like filing suit, or when the Verdict comes back.  It is the proverbial point of no return.

Contingency Fee

I handle most of my cases on a contingency fee basis and do not charge clients for fees or expenses unless they recover.  So, some think that if he gets  a bad verdict it will only mean the loss of a few dollars that were left on the table.  But that is not the whole story.

Trial Lawyers

Modern trial law can and often does end up with a large judgment against the losing party.  How large?  Depends on each case, but it should include all of the defense court costs, expert fees, deposition charges, witness subpoenas, and the attorneys fees for the defense firm.  That could be $50,000 or more! Then there is the Bob Dylan argument that you should risk losing the offer: “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”  That argument is a bad one, because you would be losing the money on the table if you lost at court.

Finally, the Statement of Clients rights gives you, the Client, absolute and final authority to decide whether to take the settlement or not.  A good lawyer can provide you with a recommendation, but should let you make the final decision:  it’s your case. You know more about your needs, and risk tolerance than anyone else!