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Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law

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Settling a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Key Takeaways:

  • The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled before they go to trial.
  • A settlement can be faster, less expensive, and allow you more control in negotiating a fair settlement agreement.
  • Make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries because once you sign a settlement agreement, you give up your rights to sue.

If you are injured in a car accident, you can recover damages as part of a jury award. However, most personal injury claims are settled before they go to trial. A personal injury settlement can be faster and cost less money than going to trial. There are benefits and risks of settling an accident case.

An experienced attorney can use settlement negotiations to ensure you get a fair settlement amount. If you were injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you get a payout for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, consult with a personal injury legal team for advice.

What Is the Difference Between a Settlement and a Jury Verdict?

When you file a legal action, you are making a claim for compensation. The injury victim has a legal right to recover compensation for damages caused by negligence. You can get damages in a jury verdict based on your medical bills and other losses. You can also agree to drop the legal claims in exchange for accepting a settlement offer.

A jury verdict means that a jury decides who is liable for the accident and the amount of damages. In a settlement agreement, the injured person and the negligent party decide on the amount of compensation.

What Are the Advantages of Settling a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

There are several advantages to settling a personal injury lawsuit before trial. These include:

  • Lower cost: Legal costs can be higher in a personal injury trial. You may have to pay expert witness fees and other legal fees that could lower your award or settlement.
  • Faster resolutions: Parties in a personal injury lawsuit can settle their case without waiting for the crowded court docket. You may receive your damages award sooner if you settle than if you go to trial.
  • Control: A settlement allows you to remain in control. You do not have to agree to a settlement unless you believe it is in your best interest. You are not at the mercy of a judge or jury to decide the case’s outcome.

What Are the Risks of Settling a Lawsuit?

Sometimes, the negligent party won’t make a fair offer. Going to trial may be the only way to ensure you get the money to pay for your medical treatment. Before accepting a settlement, make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries. This is reaching maximum medical improvement. If you settle your case, it will be too late to go back and ask for more money if you need additional medical care.

In a settlement, there is no legal liability decision. Settlement agreements generally include language that the defendant does not admit fault. If you want to ensure that the person who caused the harm is held accountable, you may prefer going to trial. A jury decision can hold the negligent party at fault for their wrongdoing.

How Much Should You Ask For in a Settlement?

Personal injury settlement amounts depend on several factors. This includes:

  • Individual injury victim
  • The extent of your injuries
  • Who was at fault
  • Financial ability of the negligent party
  • Wrongdoing
  • If you were partly to blame
  • Liability insurance coverage

Consult with a personal injury attorney who can advise you about the strengths of your case and how much you can get in a settlement.

What Happens in a Settlement?

Once you and your personal injury lawyer have prepared for negotiations, you can begin discussing a settlement with the other party. Initially, these settlement talks may occur informally between attorneys over the phone. If the negligent party’s insurance companies are involved, they will have to approve any settlement offer by the defendant.

In some cases, settlement talks can include a third party to help the parties come to a resolution. This can include a mediator or judge during a formal negotiation session.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Settle Your Case?

A lawyer can review your personal injury case and give you legal advice about settlement negotiations. Your attorney can explain the settlement process and tell you what to expect as your case progresses. They can keep you updated about the settlement negotiations and how much you can expect to get to settle your case. 

Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney about when a settlement may be the best option.

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