What happens next is that you'll continue forward to a jury verdict.
You don't have to agree with what the opposing lawyer thinks your case is worth.
You don't have to agree with what the judge thinks your case is worth.
Here's another secret...
You don't have to agree with what your own attorney thinks your case is worth!
But you should.
You should at least respect what your attorney thinks your case is worth.
You should at least respect what the judge thinks your case is worth.
Let me ask you a question...
Who do you think has more experience with the value of someone's injuries?
You or your attorney?
You or the judge who sees these cases every day?
Notice I'm not asking that same question about the defense attorney.
Because he has an agenda.
His goal, if he's trying to settle your case, is to offer as little as possible in an attempt to make your case go away.
He's trying to offer you money as a way to limit the risk he and his client and the insurance company will take if your case goes to a jury verdict.
That's why he'll offer the least amount possible.
That still may be a substantial number.
But it may not be a number that you are comfortable accepting.
Instead, you turn around and say "That's outrageous! I will never accept $1 million dollars for my injuries! My case is worth five times that, $5 million dollars."
During a break in your trial, the judge calls your attorney up to talk settlement.
"Counselor, is there any chance we can settle this case?" the judge asks.
"Judge, the defense has offered $1 million dollars and my client refuses to accept it. She will only take $5 million or more," your lawyer tells the judge in confidence.
"Let me speak to the defense," the judge says.
A few minutes later your lawyer again speaks to the judge.
"Counselor, from what I know about this case and from what the defense lawyer has just told me, this is the most they will offer. Personally, I think this is a gift and your client should take the money and run as fast as she can," the judge says.
"I'll let her know your thoughts Judge," your lawyer says.
"The judge says this is the most you'll get from the defense during settlement discussions. They won't offer another dime. He thinks you should take it and run. It's an excellent settlement offer."
You are furious.
You are angry.
Angry at your attorney for suggesting that your case is worth only $1 million.
You're angry at the judge for believing that your case is worth only $1 million.
You're angry at the defense for only offering a 'measly' $1 million.
"Screw you. Screw the judge. Screw the defense lawyer," you scream at your attorney.
"My case is worth at least $5 million," you screech. "Finish this trial and lets see how much money the jury gives me," you say defiantly.
You have every right to believe that.
You have every right to say that.
It doesn't mean you're right though.
Nor does it mean the value you placed on your injuries are right.
It simply means that I recognize your perception of the value of your case.
I recognize you believe your case has a higher value than the attorneys involved in your case as well as the judge who is overseeing your trial.
Because there's such a wide discrepancy between what the judge thinks your case is worth and what you think your case is worth, I will ask you "What makes you believe that your case is really worth five times as much as is being offered to you right now?"
I can pretty much guarantee that you won't have a good answer to that question.
You might THINK your injuries are worth more because of something you've read in the newspaper.
You might THINK your injuries are worth more because of what a friend of yours said to you.
You might THINK your injuries are worth more because of the horrific nature of what your doctor did wrong.
But there are problems with relying on each one of those.
If the defense thinks your case is worth $1 million and the judge thinks your case is worth $1 million and your attorney agrees and says your case is worth $1 million, do you think they might know something that you don't? Is it possible that you're not looking at the true value of your injuries the way an appellate court looks at it?
What makes you believe that your knowledge of the value of your injuries are more significant than these lawyers with many years of experience?
Remember, your attorney has an agenda too.
His goal is to get you as much money as possible. The more he gets for you, The more he gets for himself and his law firm.
The problem with putting a value on your injuries is that you may be at a disadvantage.
In fact, you will be at a disadvantage since you likely do not know what other similar cases have settled for.
You likely will not know what appellate courts have determined to be an appropriate value for similar injured victims.
While we can agree that every case is different and there are nuances to every injury, the fact remains that unless you've been handling cases like these for many years and truly KNOW the value of your injury in the venue where you case is pending, your perception of the value of your injuries are going to be DIFFERENT than those who truly know.