Do Lawyers Lie about Car Accident Settlements?
Negotiating a settlement after being involved in a car accident can be a tricky drawn-out process- one in which a client relies heavily on their attorney to do right by them and fight for a fair and favorable offer. Car accidents are traumatic events and some people take a long time to recover both physically and mentally, but a settlement can help the financial recovery, at least.
The question of St Louis Missouri car accident attorneys lying about settlement offers either as a way to end a case quickly, manipulate the proceedings into going to court, or for personal gain is a troubling one, but not one most clients should have to worry about.
Can Lawyers Legally Lie to Clients about Settlements?
Asking if somebody does something or if they can do something is different but in the case of lawyers lying, the two run together on a very close line. It is not allowed legally for a lawyer to misinform a client for any reason, so no, a lawyer cannot lie about a settlement offer. If they do, they could face serious repercussions both personally and financially.
Confidentiality Laws Surrounding Settlement Offers
Confidentiality laws apply to settlement negotiations, but it is not black and white. Usually, a car accident attorney does not disclose the exact negotiations between themselves and the opposing party’s lawyer to their clients because it is not required or necessary- but everything is documented and available if necessary.
Additionally, most settlements include a confidentiality agreement between the client, the attorney, and the liable party to stop the details of such negotiations from becoming available. If, however, there is a legal need for this information to become public, it may be overturned in a court of law.
What do Settlements Mean for Lawyers, and Why Would They Lie?
Anybody concerned about a lawyer lying about how much they can get from a settlement should consider the fact that most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee. That means that the higher the settlement they get for their client, the more they get paid. In this case, it would make very little sense for them to lie or trick you into accepting less than they believed they could get.
If an attorney has a retainer fee, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have less incentive to push for a maximum settlement. They may be entitled to fees above the retainer amount and are motivated to do all they can.
A lawyer lying to a client about a minimum settlement, either to make them settle for less, to end a case quickly or for some other personal gain is considered serious malpractice. It would not be productive in any way for somebody who enjoys practicing law and wishes to continue doing so to put themselves in this position.
What Happens If a Lawyer Lies about a Car Accident Settlement Offer?
If in a very rare case, a car accident attorney is found to have lied about a settlement offer, they could face penalization from the Bar Association, not to mention potential criminal charges depending on the situation. Because of this, any respectable attorney with a true passion for practicing the law would not risk lying about a settlement or their client’s pain and suffering.
There would likely be a hearing to expose the truth about any accusation of lying, or it may be handled internally. Negotiation details could be made available, and both the attorney and the liable party could face further legal action.
As a whole, lawyers do not lie about car accident settlements for any reason. Doing so is a risk to their license to practice and their legal freedom. A damaged reputation is debilitating to an attorney or a law firm and has put more than one talented lawyer out of business.
At Powell Law Firm, we believe in open, honest transparency with all of our clients. Mutual trust and respect are woven into our everyday practice and carry through every move we make. When one of our lawyers represents you in a car accident negotiation, they have your back.
We always strive for the best outcome and maximum settlement available, and we do so honorably and compliantly. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys and let us help you get the settlement you deserve.