Will your lawyer actually take that step to file a lawsuit if necessary? Or will your attorney do what I call “short settle” and never step foot in court?
There are times to settle outside of Court and before ever filing suit – and often. However, I see too many lawyers taking the first offer or what I call “short settling” a case – any type of case. Good lawyers “work up” cases to settle every time and often cases can be settled without ever filing suit – the key is: has your case been “worked up”?
Many of my clients mistakenly believe that the insurance companies will have to spend thousands on legal fees to defend a case if a lawsuit is simply filed and demand that a lawsuit be filed immediately no matter what. This mistaken belief is often not true many times at all! In fact, the “way it works” in the real world is that many insurance companies – especially with respect to auto accident insurance companies – have lawyers essentially “on staff” and at a “fixed cost” without a need to pay their lawyers by the hour. On the flip side, sometimes the defense lawyers hired by the insurance company are, in fact, paid by the hour – but for a reason.
Filing a lawsuit could be one of the worst things you could possibly do depending upon the circumstances and every case is different. Again, the key is – has your case been “worked up” and analyzed to determine whether it’s time to file or time to settle.
Big companies “skew” my clients’ mistaken beliefs in the “system”. In fact, a very recent Summer 2014 letter put out by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (“ITLA” and of which I am a proud member!), has established the true facts on how the system is working in relation to lawsuit filings:
The fact is the filing of civil lawsuits in Illinois has steadily declined since 2007 – the number is down nearly 25 percent – but making note of that does not support [big business’] objective. Nor do statistics showing injury lawsuits make up just 6 percent of all civil cases filed in state courts. Indeed, businesses and insurance company supporters initiate most civil litigation; nearly 70 percent of civil cases involve businesses suing other businesses or individuals for money.
Next time you talk to your lawyer, ask him or her – did you work up my case before you suggested I take that first offer? Ask careful questions. I invite them from my clients. I want to educate my clients about the pros and cons of settling – or filing a lawsuit. Make sure you make the right decision at that fork in the road – or get a second opinion.
You can contact me here 24/7/365 (and I really mean that as I will answer my phone) if you have any questions and to learn how I may be able to help you or your loved one who may need, or simply want, a second opinion – in particular, you will find that I listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages–BUT NOT WHILE DRIVING!!). I would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.