Who Should Setting An Auto Accident Claim?
The job of the auto accident lawyer, contrary to what many people think, is NOT to settle the client’s claim. The client decides when and for how much his/her case settles. After all, THE CLAIM IS THE CLIENT’S NOT THE LAWYER’S. I spoke to a potential client recently who was leery to talk with a lawyer because “my Texas lawyer settled my case and took most of the money.”
Auto accident lawyers SHOULD NOT SETTLE YOUR CLAIM. The responsibility of the lawyer, who has his/her client’s best interest in mind, is to provide information and advice so the client can make the decision that is best for his/her family.
What An Auto Accident Lawyer Should Do.
The lawyer is a tool to be used by the client to work his/her way through what can be an unfamiliar and very stressful period. Only the client knows how bad the injury hurts; how much money is required NOW to pay the monthly bills; how difficult it may be to attend weekly doctor’s visits; how willing he/she is to go through with a trial. The lawyer is there to provide guidance.
Once the auto accident lawyer reviews the medical record and bills and conferences with the treating physicians, then he will discuss the value of the claim with the client. The lawyer shares with the client what similar cases have settled for, what a jury verdict range may be, risks to the client, the length of time to get to trial, and answers all of the client’s questions.
Then, many times the client will ask: “Ok. If you were me, what would you do?” I don’t think I have ever answered that question as asked. As an auto accident lawyer, I share with clients my experience, what is reasonable, and what I perceive to be the likely outcome if he/she decides not to settle. Then, I ask the client the question, “Do YOU want to settle YOUR claim?”
At Michles & Booth our auto accident lawyers tell clients every day: “we don’t make decisions; we make recommendations.” But most importantly, we provide information and expertise that allow the client to make the best decision under the circumstances.