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  #1 (permalink)
eleloNigAxion : My solicitors calculation is around 400k, which I know is the very maximum imaginable and was never really a figure I might receive.
The case is almost 5 years old and I suffered a moderate head injury (agreed by both sides neurological specialists), fractured skull, slight visual impairment, anosmia, loss of taste etc
I am mortified at the dirt they have dug up about me, including a pregnancy termination over 15 years ago. So they are playing hardball. 18 months ago I accepted a 25% responsibility for my accident (which I'm not really happy about, but wanted the case to progress). Today I received an offer of £57,500,00 (from which all sickness benefits will be taken back).
I am seeing my solicitor, neurosurgeon and barrister on 12th February but in the meantime I want to know if first offers are always rejected or if I may have to settle for this amount. The court hearing is scheduled for between July and mid September.

What is the likelihood that I will have to settle for this amount?
I have scoured the net and am more confused than ever.
Are first offers always low-ball?
They are associating my depression and lethargy etc to an already evident problem because I took anti depressants and saw a counselor 10 years ago after my husband died. They are painting me very Black, I am so upset.
At the time of my accident I had a fantastic job and had 3 promotions in 4 months, I was part way through 2 evening class qualifications so even though they are making me look bad, my life was on the up at the time of the accident.
My partner lost his job because he had to look after me and my daughter quit her college course to help so it affected all our lives quite badly.

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  #2 (permalink)
Conk525nfV : The first one is the damage limitation (on their part)

Hold out for more

£57k isn't really a lot of money especially if max could be £400k

But ALWAYS listen to your solictor
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  #3 (permalink)
RoyabyRor : If it were me I would hold out for a little more. I was in a car accident years ago (1996) .. was not at fault, and I was hurt (back and neck injuries mostly). I ended up taking their first offer and signing off on any future medical problems i may have due to the accident. I never should have done that!! Since that time I have had issues come up that had to do with my accident injuries back then, and when its cold or damp I get very bad pains sometimes. I am told the older i get the worse some of those pains will get, and that yes they are from when I was injured. I too lost a very good job over my accident, and have not found anything that pays as well or that is as secure etc. as that job was. I wish I would have held out for alot more now. (my little bit of money went pretty quick once I paid my medical bills off and bought a cheap used car to relpace the one that was wrecked). I would think twice about accepting their offer. I assume you have a lawyer.. what does the lawyer say? You might want to ask for a certain amount more and tell them you will take that to settle out of court.. then see what happens. Reguardless of what you end up doing, I wish you the best of luck!
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  #4 (permalink)
abyy1319 : There is no way you're going to get decent advice here. I'd be surprised if this case file isn't two inches thick, there's NO WAY you could give enough relevant facts on Yahoo for anyone, even an experienced litigator or neurosurgeon, to have a reasonable guess.

See your solicitor, get competent advice.

As a casual observation, I doubt that the timing of the offer and your appointment with the solicitor are totally unrelated.
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  #5 (permalink)
cskc8057 : Should I be concerned about signing with a lawyer that would propose this type of an arrangement?

42% contingency fee -OR- attorney fee of $495/hr + costs and expenses.
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  #6 (permalink)
DrSandraVann : You should shop around some more for someone who isn't going to bill you the "higher" of two amounts. There should be enough competition out there for you to find a lawyer who won't try to rake you over the coals.
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  #7 (permalink)
ipermMaria : Negotiate...work him down 35-36%. Never take the first offer. Take that contingency deal. Make the $ work against him instead of time working for him.
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  #8 (permalink)
WheemiGacence : Thtat's a huge contingency fee - It depends on what you need the attorney for. Try to negotiate it down, it doesn't hurt to try.
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  #9 (permalink)
CimaSmarHaigO : Find another lawyer. The whichever is higher is a deal breaker.
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  #10 (permalink)
penny auctions : There's a lot of issues in play here, and not enough information. A lawyer's fee can't be realistically assessed without knowing things like:

(a) The nature of your case. If you have a simple rear-ender car wreck, 42% is on the high side, but not unheard-of (average is 30-35%). A huge medical malpractice or pharmaceutical death case, on the other hand, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate (out of the lawyer's pocket), with NO guarantee that he'll ever be repaid. You want him to take a high risk, he's going to expect a high reward.

(b) The complexity of your case. A shareholders' derivative action is going to cost more than the old rear-end example.

(c) The "value" of your case. If your likelihood of recovering a "donut" is high, the lawyer is going to want more money. Risk vs. reward again.

(d) The lawyer's reputation, skill, training and experience. The better the lawyer, the higher fee he can command.

(e) The "market" where you live. In Pine Bluff, Arkansas, $495 is a lot of money. In NYC ... wouldn't even raise an eyebrow. Partners at major law firms in "high" markets (like NYC for example) will routinely bill upwards of $500 an hour. A decent 850 sq. ft. apartment in NYC costs $4K a month, so what do you think a high-profile lawyer is going to charge?

That arrangement does seem a little ... excessive, but depending on the facts, it might not be *quite* as unreasonable as it sounds. The beauty of being the client is: everything is negotiable. You can always take your business elsewhere.
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