Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Settlement Without Talking to a Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Settlement Without Talking to a Wrongful Termination Lawyer

After losing your job for reasons you don’t understand, you may struggle to move forward with your life. Perhaps you were the victim of discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, or FMLA violations. In any case, if your job loss appears to have broken state or federal employment laws, you should immediately contact a wrongful termination lawyer. They can assess your case, help you gather evidence, and fight for a just settlement.

Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Settlement Without Talking to a Wrongful Termination Lawyer

The short answer is this: an attorney can help you obtain much fairer compensation than if you try to navigate a wrongful termination alone. When your employment ends, your goals are far different from your former employer’s. They want to continue business as usual and pay nothing to ex-employees. You, on the other hand, have likely suffered significant financial losses, especially if you’ve been out of work for some time, and need money for bills.

Somewhere between these two opposing perspectives, a compromise of sorts must be reached. If a compromise is off the table, the courts must step in and identify the employment laws breached and a subsequently appropriate financial remedy. To even get to the point of a settlement or trial, however, you need a thorough knowledge of state and federal regulations. This is where a wrongful termination lawyer can help steer you in the right direction.

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Reap the Benefits of Skillful Negotiation

Nearly all legal cases, around 95 percent, settle out of court. Your claim will likely follow the same pattern, meaning skillful negotiations will be required to help you acquire a fair settlement offer. The trouble is that victims of wrongful termination are often eager to accept the first monetary offer made to them. This enthusiasm comes with grave consequences – namely, walking away with less money.

Attorneys understand that negotiations require more than an understanding of complex legal terms; they also need a command of pre-suasion, a process in which an attorney strategizes ways to make a message more attractive to its recipients. In short, lawyers have an arsenal of influence techniques designed to increase the chances that a proposal or concept will be accepted. This toolbox can lead to more money in your pocket.

Receive a Potentially Greater Settlement

Many people derive their identities from their jobs. When that job is suddenly taken from them, they feel a gaping hole that begs to be filled. This might explain why some victims of wrongful termination agree to settlements that don’t include monetary damages. Instead, they accept their former employer’s offer to restore them to their old position (called reinstatement) or provide a good reference.

Either offer may at first be welcome. But over time, you may regret that you acted so quickly to dismiss your case. Speaking with wrongful termination law firms in Kansas City will show you that a settlement offer negotiated by an attorney can include more than a return to your former position. Your final settlement may contain financial compensation for:

  • Loss of job-related benefits, such as stock options, pensions, or health insurance
  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to seeking new employment
  • Wages lost, starting from the date of termination
  • Emotional distress
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Overcome Common Obstacles

Like many states, Missouri follows an at-will employment tenet. This means an employer can terminate an employee at any time and for any reason, provided no employment contract is in place that promises the employee can work for a specific timeframe. That same termination must also abide by state and federal laws and public policies.

The at-will doctrine can make proving wrongful termination difficult. A skilled attorney will evaluate your case and review all available documentation, including your employee file, workplace handbooks, and employer policies. If, for instance, your termination is related to poor performance but your reviews reflect consistently high ratings, you may have a case for unlawful termination.

Gather Evidence

The point is that your lawyer will collect the evidence necessary to build your case. They will likewise depose witnesses, if necessary, and prevent your employer from using unfair tactics to impede negotiations. Without an attorney by your side, you may fall victim to unscrupulous corporate lawyers hired to prevent claims like yours from moving forward.

Know When to Settle

Your lawyer will take a hard look at your losses and use the sum to identify a fair settlement. That dollar amount will be included in the correspondence your lawyer initiates with your former employer. Your employer’s attorneys will likely respond with a lower offer, and negotiations will thus begin.

By working with an attorney, you’ll know when the time is right to settle. Likewise, an attorney can often help the negotiation process move more quickly so you receive your financial compensation sooner rather than later.

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Enduring a wrongful termination can be mentally and emotionally taxing. You may think that because you know your former employer, you have the ability to negotiate with them. The better option is to partner with an attorney who understands state and federal employment laws, can negotiate for a fair settlement, and will advise you when the time is right to settle.

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