Q: Following my offshore injury, I’m having difficulty deciding whether I should accept the settlement the insurance company offered or hold out for more money. What should I do?
When you’re injured as a result of a maritime accident, the last thing you want to do is fight with insurance adjusters and make waves during your recovery. Unfortunately, insurance companies know this and use your reluctance against you. They know that you need time to recover and to put your accident behind you. However, rather than giving you that time, they’ll bombard you with phone calls and questions to irritate you into accepting a small offer. They know you don’t want to prolong the process, and they know you don’t want to be combative, so they gamble that you’ll settle just to be free.
However, attorney Steve Lee thinks you deserve more.
Weighing Your Options
On the one hand, accepting a low-ball offer may seem appealing so that you can move on with your life. However, on the other hand, holding out for full compensation to pay for medical treatments and recovery is the more responsible option. So what do you do? Do you accept the measly offer or do you take your claim to trial?
When you have the representation of Steve Lee, you fight until you and the insurance company agree on a fair settlement—no matter where that fight may lead.
Out-of-Court Settlements vs. Litigation Benefits
There are several reasons that a huge majority of Texas offshore injury cases settle out of court. An experienced attorney knows that insurance companies don’t want to spend their resources arguing their case in front of a jury, especially since juries tend to give the victims the benefit of the doubt. Your attorney also knows that out-of-court settlements are the goal of most insurance companies because of the following reasons:
- They can be win-win situations. An agreeable settlement can be beneficial for both the injured and responsible parties. The injured worker receives a fair amount to cover his losses. The company avoids the risk that sympathetic jurors will dish out a huge award to the plaintiff.
- Settlements have very few “unknown” factors. When the amount is agreed upon, that amount is paid, case closed. Trial cases are fairly volatile, and different judges and juries could see the same case in several different ways, creating several potentially costly outcomes.
- Settlements often have smaller payouts than court trials. Out-of-court settlements are often less than the maximum value you might win in the courtroom. Don’t take that to mean you are being cheated, though! Your maritime injury attorney can advise you whether a settlement offer will be enough to meet your expected future needs. Remember, a jury trial can also be a gamble for you: an unsympathetic jury may reject your claim entirely or give you a tiny damage award.
Since the insurance company undoubtedly wants to settle out-of-court, you and your attorney have the upper hand. Therefore, whether you want a quick claim, a fair claim, or both, it’s important that you work with an experienced offshore injury attorney to determine the right way to handle your claim. Houston-based maritime attorney Steve Lee can help you weigh your options, to determine your best course of action. Call today at 800-232-3711 to discuss your case with an attorney who understands your needs.