Determining the Likelihood of a Pretrial Settlement Offer

According to a Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney, there are several factors that an employer and its lawyer will consider while evaluating whether to make a settlement offer prior to litigation. The main considerations are likely to be how the plaintiff’s case is likely to be perceived by a jury made up of lay persons and how expensive litigation will be.

Potential Damages

To assess the potential cost of litigation, the employer may try to calculate the potential damages including:

  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Exemplary damages;
  • Damages for emotional distress;
  • Medical costs;
  • Costs related to mitigation efforts on the part of the plaintiff;
  • Future lost benefits and wages;
  • Past benefits and lost wages;
  • General litigation expenses including fees for investigators and experts;
  • Attorney’s fees; and
  • Miscellaneous costs such as:
    • Court reporter costs;
    • Deposition transcripts;
    • Court filing fees;
    • Process server fees; and
    • Travel expenses.

Intangible Costs

In addition to the actual cost of litigation, there are other less tangible costs that an employer may be facing in the event that the case goes to trial, says a Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney. Some of these intangible costs are:

  • A decrease in morale among employees;
  • The potential for additional employees to file claims in the event that the plaintiff wins;
  • Lost productivity due to employee involvement in the investigation and subsequent trial; and
  • The possibility of negative publicity.

It is important to consider the fact that the projected cost of the case will change at different stages in the process, says a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer. For example, if a case is resolved during the initial round of written discovery and depositions, the attorney’s fees may be lower because less time and resources will have been spent.

If you would like assistance with negotiations and legal representation should your case go to trial, please contact Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney, Mark J. Berkowitz P.A. He can be reached at (954) 527-0570.