Should I take the money?” “Is the insurance company offering me a fair settlement?” “If I don’t settle, I might get nothing – I should settle, right?” These are some of the most common questions that we are asked, and the answer is invariably – It depends. As a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer it is my job to analyze a settlement offer, figure out motivations behind that offer (more on this later), and give my client what I think is strong advice as to whether they should settle their personal injury case and take the money or not. So how do I make the determination as to my advice to a personal injury client regarding settlement? Well, there are a great deal of factors that we look at before coming up with our best advice – some of those factors:
- Injuries – Looking at the extent of the injuries sustained, permanency of those injuries and likelihood of full recovery.
- Liability – How strong is the liability in the particular personal injury case against the party that caused the injury.
- Trial Statistics – Examining other jury verdicts and settlements with cases involving similar injuries.
- Money and Damages – How much do we feel the particular personal injury case may be worth at trial vs. the offer on the table for settlement.
We used these metrics to make a well-informed estimation on the value of the personal injury case, then ALWAYS discuss it with our clients (remember it’s your case, don’t let any lawyer tell you different). The injured client always makes the final call as to settlement or not, we will certainly give you our opinion as your personal injury lawyers, but you get the final say.
Don’t Take on an Insurance Company Alone
A key point to remember is that insurance companies are always looking at their bottom line, a penny saved (on your case) is truly a penny earned; a great primer on tricks insurance companies play when evaluating your personal injury case can be seen here. Determining “if you should take the money’, is more art than science, but having a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who is up the task is one of the most important factors in getting full and fair value for your case.