What do you expect from your lawyer?  The truth, his opinion about your chances, a prediction you can count on? Or just results?  You are guaranteed by the Statement of Client’s Rights the right to “make the final decision” to settle or not.  Most of my clients want to be a part of the case, know what is going on.  Or you can turn that right over  to your lawyer and ask him to make the final decision.  It is 100% up to you.

An experienced accident injury lawyer will be judging the fair settlement value on a lot of stuff.  You have the right to know what he thinks about your case, and then you can make the final decision.  There is a lot of competition between lawyers for clients.  Lawyers who advertise have created the false impression that you must contact a lawyer within hours after your accident or all will be lost.  So in a rush to “get a lawyer” you might be calling an answering service which sends a so called “investigator” to sign you up…and then  you never see or talk to a lawyer. I don’t practice that way: I represent people who are smart, not kitty cats and puppy dogs, who can’t communicate with me.

I was privileged to represent a lawyer who had been in two accidents  a couple of years of apart.  Neither was his fault.  I carefully reviewed the medical records, and accident reports. I made a decision: Do I tell him what the case was worth or just settle?  I told him what it was  worth and he was shocked.  His reaction was to get another lawyer because he thought I did not like his case. He hired a TV lawyer.

He had the right to get a new lawyer.  I promptly transferred the file, and I advised my former client I had chosen to tell him of  the red flags instead of keeping him in the dark. I think that was the honest right thing to do, even though it probably cost me some business.  He will find out eventually anyway.

Moral of the story: you have the right to expect a candid evaluation.  Or not.  If you want to be part of the settlement and have input, be prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly.


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