No one can force you to accept a settlement.
Don't sign if you aren't happy. But, be aware that many of the issues of your case probably prevent a better settlement, including attorney's fees, medical liens, and difficulties proving your case.
Have a sit down with your lawyer to better understand all ramifications of settlement as well as the risks of trial.
Sometimes a bad settlement is better than taking a difficult case to trial.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.
The case is yours. The attorney can make recommendations, but ultimately the decision to settle and at what amount is yours to make. If you have concerns over the amount, discuss that with your lawyer, to have him/her explain the rationale for why he/she is recommending that settlement. It's hard to say in this limited forum and with these limited facts if this is a "good deal" or not, or if your attorney is simply trying to make the best of a less than optimal situation. Often, where the settlement being offered by the insurance company is not that great, the attorney can negotiate the amounts owed to the doctors (your post doesn't mention if the doctor in this case has a larger outstanding bill, but agreed to resolve his lien issues for that $2,600), and the attorney may be willing to compromise on his fee to maximize the recovery for his/her client. Like I said, I think you need a "sit down" with your lawyer to fully discuss all the issues here.
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just because you were involved in an accident does not mean that you get to have all sorts of money come to you. The amount of the settlement has to do with many factors including the type of doctor you saw, the nature and extent of your injuries, the gap in treatment if any, whether ambulance came on the scene or not and many other factors...
You don't have to accept a settlement--however, litigation is expensive and all the issues you have now will not go away just because you do not settle. Litigation is highly unpredictable and there is a chance that you may get more money but because of additional costs, you will end up with less in your pocket.
Make an appointment with your lawyer and ask all the questions as to why hi or she thinks this is the best outcome that can be hoped for. Write down your questions and ask followup questions and if you do not understand something ask that it be explained to you again.
I hope this helps-
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You do not have to accept settlement offer if you are not satisfied with it. However, depending on circumstances it might be difficult to get a better one.
You can consult another attorney. Or you negotiate with lawyer to lower the fee.
Don't sign unless your lawyer cuts his fee. You hold the cards.
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If you are not in agreement with the proposed settlement, you should reject it. Your attorney then has the obligation to try and get you a higher settlement prior to suit or file suit on your behalf. You will have the obligation for the costs of doing so, including the filing fees, discovery costs etc. Your attorney can help you to estimate the costs of filing suit and taking the case to trial.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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