Final offer from insurance company is it worth taking the settlement vs going to court? What are the costs in court typically?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

We got the Medical expenses reduced with my medical lien from 22k, now it is 11k with the reduction. However, my lawyer is claiming it is not worth getting more from the insurance company because then the medical lien will want more if I get more than 25k. Insurance company has made a final offer (only the 2nd couterbid we sent) to settle for 25k (I only get 5k in pain & suffering, lawyer gets 8k for his work). I am debating if I want to go after for 42k . However because of the costs I am not sure what I should do given 1. medical lien could end up making us pay the full 22k instead of the reduced 11k. Lastly are court costs so much that I will end up with only 5k anyways? Are court reporters really $500-$1,000 (est) per day. Expert dr's are they roughly 4k for a half day?

Attorney answers (11)

  1. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 19

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to make a decision in conjunction with your attorney.

    Litigating the matter would entail depositions, hiring expert witnesses, court reports, etc and thus could be expensive and obviously these costs would come out of the final recovery.

  2. Robert Bruce Kopelson

    Contributor Level 20

    14

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not enough info. Without knowing the details of the "lien" it isn't possible to guess what the reimbursement would be. 11k may be a good reduction, may not be. There may be other arguments that can reduce it further. I don't know how you came up with 42k as the value of the case. It is very difficult to predict the outcome so specifically. Costs are high. Filing fee is 435.00, process server 75.00, court reporter for depositions usually runs about 750-1000. Could be mediation which may be a shared cost, and can run into the thousands. Yes, most docs charge 4k or more minimum for half day in court. They will charge for time to prep for deposition, and for trial. If you take the other side's expert 's deposition, you pay the reporter and the experts fee. Don't know what your court charges for court reporters in court, or if they make you bring your own. There is a lot to consider. If the other side makes a CCP 998 offer, and you don't accept and go to trial, and don't get more from the jury, you can then be ordered to pay the deft's expert witness costs.

  3. Jeffrey Mark Adams

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I can't recall ever taking a fee in excess of my clients recovery not can I envision a scenario where I would; there would need to be some extremely extenuating circumstances. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  4. Eduardo A. Brito

    Contributor Level 10

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should sit down with your lawyer and discuss your concerns clearly with him/her to determine your attorney's view and rationale before you seek another opinion. Yes, court reporters can range in that amount and may doctors have high rates for deposition/trial testimony (although $4K for 1/2 a day seems excessive). You may also want to ask you lawyer to reduce his fee ... ?

  5. Scott Michael Leavitt

    Contributor Level 6

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In general I agree with my colleagues regarding how varied costs can be and the need for clear communication with your lawyer. Unfortunately, very experienced lawyers forget that they need to explain the 'why' of their recommendations. You always have the option of a second opinion, but you should really try to work things out with your current lawyer. There is no 100% right answer to your dilemma, just an educated decision. Sit down with your lawyer and get him/her to explain what the projected costs are versus the expected recovery. On both issues, you will need to rely on your lawyer for accuracy.

    And, experts can easily range from 4k to 6K for 1/2 day testimony at trial. Court reporters, depending on the length of the deposition and number of exhibits, can easily exceed $500-$1,000. Your lawyer sound like he/she is pointing out that you may be at the point of diminishing returns.

    If you are still not comfortable with the plan or evaluation of your claim, see another lawyer.

    This is not intended as legal advice and should not be construed as such. No attorney-client relationship exists... more
  6. Leonard E McGee

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Going to trial is very expensive - yes, depending on the deposition length, the court reporters charges could be in the $500-1000 range (although it would have to be a very lengthy deposition) and doctors do charge in the $2,000 - 5,000.00 range for their testimony.

  7. Avedis Nalbandian

    Contributor Level 10

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Is your attorney a trial attorney? If not, you must consult a trial attorney who can look into your case
    and tell you if you must go to trial with your case to possibly get you a verdict for much more money.
    Good Luck !!!

  8. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sit down with your lawyer to discuss

  9. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you do not feel comfortable with your attorney's opinion, get a second one.

  10. Seymone Javaherian

    Contributor Level 4

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney is fairly accurate as to the costs issue.

  11. Manuel Alzamora Juarez

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Trials are expensive and may last from 3 to 7 days. They are not for the faint of hard and there is no guarantee that the jury will give you a larger award than the one negotiated by your lawyer. Follow his advice and maybe ask him to reduce his fee a little. Let him know what you expect and maybe he will work hard with you and reduce the bills a little more. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de... more

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