Everyone initially thinks that it is better for a case to go to trial. However, personal injury trials are not like they are portrayed on TV, they are long, difficult trials that often take years to get to court. Many expert witnesses must be hired, and you never know what to expect with a jury. Sometimes an issue can seem crystal clear, but a jury can interpret an entirely unique way. An experienced attorney will be able to go over the pros and cons of a trial vs. a settlement. A settlement is a compromise between the parties.
Everyone “gives” a little with a settlement, but it is a guaranteed result for both sides. Often if a case can be settled before trial, a great deal of time and money can be saved. It is usually advantageous to try and settle, unless the other side is being completely unreasonable. Insurance companies know when they are facing a great deal of liability and will want o to make a reasonable offer.
Although settlement damages are usually less than the damages that may be awarded by a jury at trial, there are other financial factors to consider. Expert witnesses are very expensive, and depositions take a great deal of time. As all the expenses add up, the cost of the litigation increases, and this all takes money away from you. There is also an advantage to getting your money more quickly, as waiting years can be a stressful procedure.
Sometimes the threat of a trial may cause an insurance company to re-evaluate their initial offer, and potentially offer a larger amount. They also want to avoid the prohibitive cost of litigation, as well as the publicity of a trial. Attorney fees and costs are significantly left when there is a settlement, and settlements are far less stressful than going to trial. Also, even if you are victorious at trial, the insurance company can appeal the jury verdict, and this can also take years of litigation. Furthermore, when you enter into a settlement, you do not need to admit any liability. If you lose at trial, then you are presumed to be liable for the accident, or whatever the basis of the claim was. Contacting an experienced attorney is the best way for you to evaluate your claim and take a realistic look at the path that is best for you.
Is There A Minimum Personal Injury Settlement Amount?
There is not an actual “minimum” personal injury settlement t amount. There is no minimum amount that can be attributed to pain and suffering, that figure will always depend on numerous factors that vary from case to case. There are many other variables to consider, such as the nature of the injury, the level of financial damages. The medical expenses and bills, whether there has been a death, and loss of past, present, and future wages. There is also the emotional value, how much is your pain and suffering worth, and what about grief and sorrow?
There may be damage to reputation, and what about if the injury is a permanent one? All of these are taken into consideration when a settlement is negotiated on your behalf. You will also need to know if your state has no-fault insurance rules that limit your damages for pain and suffering. All these reasons are why you need to speak to an experienced attorney who will help you fight for the best possible resolution of your case.
Does The Severity Of The Injury I Have Resulting From My Car Accident Ensure The Likelihood Of A Larger Settlement?
It seems logical that the more severe the injury is, the larger the settlement should be. However, that is not always the case. This is where insurance companies will argue regarding liability, whose fault was the accident? Is either side at fault to a degree? Is the fault clear in your case? Even though things may seem clear cut at the outset, it can get very confusing later when experts are brought in by both sides.
Even though you may have suffered a terrible injury, the insurance company may try and find circumstances that hold you responsible for some of the blame. This seems unfair, but that is why you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. If it can be proven that you were not to blame at all, and you suffered severe injuries, you should be entitled to a larger settlement that someone who was just involved in a fender bender.
Will All My Future Medical Costs Be Considered For The Settlement Amount After A Car Accident?
If you settle a personal injury case, you will receive a lump sum amount, and that will not change if you discover that you need ongoing treatment for your injuries. That is why it is imperative to calculate all possible financial considerations into a settlement. Most importantly, you should calculate the potential for lost wages, both present, and future. Will you be able to return to work? Will you be able to do the same job that you had before? Is this going to affect your annual income or your retirement? What about your medical bills? You may have a lot of bills now that can be covered by a settlement, but will you have more bills in the future?
How will those be paid for? What about property damage? Will you need your car repaired, or will you need a new car altogether? Your attorney can make sure that you have seen the right doctors who can evaluate your medical condition and give an expert opinion about your future prognosis. It is mandatory that you have real numbers in front of you before you settle a claim so that you are not faced with massive out of pocket expenses later in life. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the resources for you to find out all their information.
Remember that an insurance company may be anxious to make you an offer quickly. They also know that you may have years of pain and suffering and may have medical expenses and lost wages in the future. Do not rush into a settlement that sounds good up front until you have consulted with an attorney.
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