If Ihave a case pending and am only being offered $24,000 but have a loss of $39,000for bills and lost wages, shouldI settle or not?

This case is against a Police Department and I don’t know what to do please let me know if I should settle or go to trial? $25,000 in hospital bills and 14,000 in lost wages. Should I speak with a personal injury attorney about this? In Russell County, KY.

Asked on July 22, 2010 under Personal Injury, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You probably should speak to a personal injury attorney, since--in addition to the economic losses you describe above--it's  possible you might be able to also sue for pain and suffering, which could increase your recovery. Since most PI attorneys will offer a free initial consultation, it's worth the conversation.

Note the following: if the attorney gives you a sense for what  you could recover, first, bear in mind that a trial is never guaranteed; and second, any additional recover must be offset by the attorneys fees. For example, say that the attorney will work on contingency, receiving 1/3 of any recovery. That means that even if you recovered $36k at trail, you'd still be in the same economic place, with $24k coming to you. Even if the attorney thought you could recover $45k, if you pay the lawyer $15k (1/3), you'd only come out $6k ahead, which might not be worth it given the risk or uncertainty of trial. Also weigh additional costs vs. additional recovery in deciding to sue or settle.


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