When a Kootenai County client brings case to an attorney, within a month or two, the client and an attorney can usually arrive a dollar number that should be the goal in achieving when the case is over. Depending on the type of case, this may be a sum of money to be collected or to be paid by the client.
Settling Sooner Saves Money
One thing is always clear – the same amount of money collected after a jury verdict is worth far less than an identical amount accepted as a settlement early in the case. This is because the early settlement avoids the potentially huge expenses in terms of litigation costs and attorney fees. For example, assume a plaintiff believes that he or she will get a $50,000 verdict from a jury in a breach of contract case. To get all the way from filing the lawsuit to the end of the trial might involve $5000 in litigation costs (court filing fees, service of process fees, court reporter fees, copy costs, and subpoena fees to compel witnesses to attend depositions) plus another $20,000 in attorney fees for all the time the attorney spends preparing the case, deposing witnesses, preparing jury instructions, in addition to all the hours in trial.
But Don't Panic and Settle for Too Low a Figure
Does that mean you should always settle for low ball settlement offers? By no means, for the simple reason that the above math also applies to the party against whom you are in litigation.
So, in some sense, this becomes a kind of “let's see who blinks first” game. That is why you should only hire experienced trial lawyers to handle a case that may end up in a lawsuit.