Are you faced with a settlement decision? Approximately only 4 to 5% of personal injury cases in the U.S. ever go to trial. The rest are settled out of court. A settlement is often preferred because the trial process can be lengthy and stressful. It often results in increased legal expenses for both parties involved. The victim is usually encouraged to accept a settlement because going to trial results in increased attorney time, negating any additional funds received. If you are considering a settlement for a personal injury, consider the following aspects to decide if the amount is worth it.
How close is it to what was expected?
When you began your trial, you should have come up with an expected amount. This is the amount that you claimed you were suing for. It is an amount that included incurred expenses, estimated medical expenses, and an amount for the pain that you suffered. Now, compare that amount to the offered settlement amount. If it is too far off, you might want to consider counter offering or going to trial. However, if the amount of close enough, you might consider ending the legal process and taking the money. Your lawyer will be an important resource in making this decision.
Will the amount cover all costs incurred?
If you were injured at the fault of someone else, you should not have to pay for medical care out of pocket. This includes both medical expenses already incurred, as well as any expected medical costs. Does the settlement amount take these expenses into account? Will you have to cover any of your own medical expenses out of pocket? If this is the case, you might want to request additional funds. If the at fault party will not make up the difference, it might be a good idea to take the case to trial. Gaining compensation for medical expenses is usually a straightforward process. It is estimating the pain suffered amount that can get a little grey.
Compare the costs of trail against expected gains
You also don?t want to take a case to trial that will result in taking a financial loss. When you take a case to trial, you have to pay for your lawyer to work the extra hours. Additionally, trial hours are sometimes billed at a higher amount than consultation hours. Your accident lawyer?s bill could increase significantly. Compare your added cost of legal fees with the additional amount you could gain by taking the case to court. Is the added amount worth it? You should also factor in time spent, as you might be required to take additional time off of work to make court dates.
Sometimes, calculating the costs of the trial against expected gains is not very simple. This is usually the case when illegal activity is involved. Taking a case to trial can result in illegal charges for the at fault party. If you don?t take the case to trial, the person could be let off with a warning. The at fault party does not get punished and it is possible that they could commit the same crime again in the future, harming another person. The average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before the first arrest. It is important to also discuss these moral considerations with your auto accident attorney when a settlement is on the table.
There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the U.S. each year. Many of these accidents result in time off work, incurred medical expenses, and a list of other damages. Additionally, the majority of legal cases never even make it to trial, instead getting settled pre trial. If you are working with a personal injury lawyer, it is important to consider these settlement amounts. Factor in costs, expected costs, and the moral considerations of the case. Deciding whether or not to accept a personal injury settlement could end up being one of the biggest decisions of your life.