Your personal injury lawyer is duty-bound to be your strongest advocate for your cause and to fight for the largest settlement or damages award that may be available. However, they should never make the final decision to settle your case without your approval.
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P. C., we represent New Jersey accident victims in personal injury lawsuits in Bergen County and elsewhere in the state. We communicate every detail and all case developments with the clients that we are honored to represent and always involve our clients in settlement decisions.
Accident and injury attorneys conduct settlement negotiations on behalf of their clients
You retain a personal injury attorney after you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence. That party and their insurance company must address all communications, including settlement offers, to your attorney. However, if you are not represented by a lawyer, an insurer has every right to contact you directly and attempt to settle your case– typically for far less than it may be worth.
The insurance company, for example, might offer to reimburse you only for your property losses and your actual and immediate medical bills. By contrast, your lawyer will likely respond with a demand for damages that include those items plus– lost wages, occupational therapy, rehabilitation services for your injuries, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering, including emotional trauma. At no point should your lawyer accept a settlement offer without your explicit approval.
Your lawyer will explain the strengths, shortcomings, and overall value of your case
A New Jersey personal injury lawyer with years of experience will rely on that to assess the facts regarding your accident. That same experience will also help them determine the highest potential damages award or settlement that you might recover. They will also explain the benefits and drawbacks of settling a case and taking the matter to trial to allow a jury and a judge to determine a damages award.
You can make a fully informed decision of how you want to proceed. If you elect to settle the case, that decision is entirely yours. Your lawyer should never accept a settlement offer or make any other critical decisions in your case without your input.
A final settlement will be reflected in a settlement agreement that you will sign
Your personal injury claims will not be fully settled until you sign a settlement agreement. It should include the details of the specific damages award that you will receive. The settlement agreement is a binding contract between you and another party– and your lawyer should never sign it on your behalf. Just as important, you should not sign that agreement until you are satisfied that you understand it and your lawyer has answered all of your questions.
Your lawyer cannot settle your case without you. Because once the settlement agreement is accepted and signed, you will not be able to make any other claims against the defendant. Your right to recover damages is specific to you and not your lawyer. Their role in the settlement is to argue for the largest award available to you.
Contact us for a free consultation
Call the personal injury attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman, P. C. directly for experienced legal representation in your New jersey accident and injury case. We will explain all of your options, and inform you of every step in any settlement negotiations.