Not as easy as it seems. Your attorney gives you a call one day and informs you that the insurance company has made an offer and after paying the medical providers and expenses your take home comes out to a certain dollar figure. Your gut reaction may say to you whoa that’s not good enough we need to take this to court.
At this point, most good attorneys will and should tell you the following: While I agree with you it’s not enough and actually no amount of money is enough to fairly compensate you for all that you have gone through, for all practical purposes I need to advise you it may not be in your best interest to simply just file a lawsuit today.
Lawsuits cost time, effort and money. Attorneys’ fees are likely higher than before a lawsuit and the court costs which include the filing and depositions and mediations and sometimes run into the thousands of dollars. So in theory, while it may be possible and probably a higher amount is gained by filing a lawsuit, will you actually take home more money is the key. For example, an offer before litigation may end up getting you the same take home of a higher offer during litigation.
And in the meantime, you may have had this drag on for another 6 months or longer no closer than where you were at when your attorney first called you about the offer. If you are ever placed in this situation I strongly recommend having a frank conversation with your attorney because it may end up that the only one who ends up making more money on the case is your attorney.
As said earlier, your gut reaction may tell you that “whoa this is not good enough for all that you have gone through and no amount will ever do that for you.” Once you can get past that initial gut reaction and listen to your attorney who is on your side on this you will see it may be in your best interest to not file the lawsuit.
That is not to say that in no case is a lawsuit not warranted because most good attorneys have been filing lawsuits in personal injury cases such as yours for years, but through experience, not every case is a good candidate as ultimately the duty is to look out for the client’s best interest.
So think it through and go over the advantages and disadvantages of a lawsuit with your lawyer. As it is not always black and white.