In negotiating for the settlement of a personal injury case, usually, demands and offers go back and forth.
The injured claimant will make a demand for settlement in an amount they are seeking. Thereafter, the defense lawyer, in most cases, will make an offer. This offer will always be less than the injured claimant is seeking.
If things go as usual, the parties will keep making demands and offers until they get close enough together that the case will be settled.
In most settlements, neither party is thrilled with the result. Each party will likely feel they're giving up too much.
In the final analysis, most cases are settled when the insurance company names a number which the claimant says is not enough. The claimant feels that the offer does not adequately compensate them for their injuries, they don't think the defendant insurance company is being reasonable and they think that they deserve more for their case. However, even though the claimant is not happy with the offer, the claimant would rather accept that offer than take a chance of going to court. By turning down a reasonable offer, the plaintiff undertakes a great risk; the risk of losing all together or at least the risk of not getting as much as the defendant offered.
Lawsuits are highly unpredictable and no lawyer can guarantee you what a jury would do in their verdict.
One question we are sometimes asked by our clients in the process of negotiation is whether the defense lawyer can withdraw their offer.
The Defense Lawyer Does Have The Right To Withdraw Their Offer
The answer to that question is yes, the defense lawyer does have the legal right to withdraw their offer. One exception might be when the defense lawyer makes an offer and, as a part of this offer states the length of time during which the offer will be held open. In that situation, the defense lawyer may not withdraw the offer before the time specified.
However, in every other case, the defense lawyer is legally allowed to withdraw their offer. By the same token you as the claimant can withdraw your demand and make a higher demand.
As a practical matter, the withdrawal of the offer is usually not an issue. If a defense lawyer offers you X number of dollars one day, chances are they will be willing to offer the same amount a month later. However, there are no guarantees.
If you hear an offer of which you are not thrilled with but which you feel is reasonable, chances are you would be better off to accept that offer without delay after consultation with your lawyer.