To Settle or To Not Settle
One of the common questions I hear a lot is: "Should I litigate or settle my Defense Base Act claim?"
I like to answer this question with this question: Does your DBA claim have the strength, the integrity and the evidence to back it up and win in court?
Here's why you need to ask yourself the above question if you are wondering whether or not to settle or litigate your DBA claim:
It's All About Strength
Another of my mantras is about how much better it is to settle your case from a position of strength - not weakness. You always need to get your case as strong as possible. Being ready and able to win is what gets you a good settlement. Getting ready for trial and being willing to take your case to trial will get you the best settlement.
Developing The Evidence
This is what most lawyers just don’t get. At least it seems that way when folks realize they have hired the wrong lawyer and call our office. This is based on what I see everyday.
Stuff doesn’t always happen by itself. "God helps those than help themselves." I grew up with that. It was true then and it is still true.
It means that sometime you have to get off your rear-end and do something. That usually means that if you don’t have evidence or the right evidence that you go out and get it. Or you make it.
Those of you that know me, know I am all about telling the truth. Always. So I am not talking about anything sinister here. I am talking about going out and getting truthful evidence that is going to help win your case.
Whatever gaps you have in your case - you need evidence in help fill in the gaps. Whether that is in-country medical reports, witness statements, wage records, medical evidence, whatever. Just do it.
The next most important factor is whether you have good medical evidence. You need medical evidence that explains why your disability and medical condition was caused by, aggravated and/or accelerated due to your being overseas. It doesn’t have to work related - but it has to be overseas related.
Too often medical evidence is stated in conclusions. You need well explained analysis. There is a big difference.
The next thing I always want to see is the defense medical reports. What do the reports say?
Its Mostly About You
Of course, every situation and/or case is different. None are exactly alike. This is because litigation is a really personal thing. So much of the outcome of the case depends on whether the Judge believes you, understands you and ultimately likes you. Your credibility is so important, here. I can't emphasixe it enough. It is the reason that I am constatly telling my clients to be completely honest about anything and everything related to the Defense Base Act case. Being honest can only help your case, it helps people like you and want to help you. The judge is no exception to this rule.
I go into this in even more detail in my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You can get your FREE copy today by clicking on the link.
The Bottom Line
Here is the deal. You have to be willing to wait the long haul if you're going to be taking your claim to the courts. These cases can take a long time to develop and it can be a while before you actually get any of the benefits you were promised by the DBA. With this in mind, waiting for those benefits won by your lawyer and yourself will be worth it. You will end up with the full financial and medical compensation that your deserve.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that in order to win the benefits you are entitled to, you are going to need to hire the best Defense Base Act Attorney you can find. This means doing extensive research of the lawyers in your area, if they're aren't any good ones, look outside your town, if there aren't any in your state look outside your state borders and find the best in the country. No, don't sop there find the best DB
You need to find the best honest Defense Base Act Lawyer that is willing to take your case. The best DBA lawyer is usually not the closest DBA lawyer. And don’t believe the hype that lawyers say about themselves on their website. Kick the tires. Ask some questions. Shop around.
The bottom line is that you don’t have the expertise or objectivity to determine whether your case should go to trial - i.e. litigate vs. settle. You need to hire the best honest DBA attorney that will agree to take your case. And then listen. Closely.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.