If you are involved in a personal injury claim or another civil lawsuit, one thing you should be aware of is that you are really in control. If you receive a settlement offer that you’re happy with, you do have the right to tell your attorney to settle. You can do this even if they tell you that they think they can get more money for you.
You should remember that your attorney is there to represent you. They are not allowed to settle without your permission or to make any significant decision on your case without your informed consent. Failing to let you know before they settle the case can lead to a malpractice claim.
Why would an attorney settle a case against a client’s wishes?
Why would they risk it? Some attorneys have tried to talk sense into their clients, but their clients won’t listen. In a moment of frustration, the attorneys may settle their cases to help the clients. This is not legal. Many people don’t realize that an attorney isn’t “in charge” and has no power to do this, so it’s important for you to speak up if you find out that your attorney settled your case without consent.
What can you do if the attorney settles without your knowledge?
If your attorney settles your case without your knowledge or approval, you may be in a difficult position. To begin with, you likely will not be able to pursue further compensation from the other party.
Instead, what you should do instead is look into finding new legal representation to handle a legal malpractice case. Keep documentation of the attorney admitting to accepting the settlement on your behalf without your permission, if you have it. You have the right to take steps to hold them accountable for their actions, because settling without your permission may have limited your opportunity to recover your financial losses and ability to move forward with other requests in court.