The common perception is most lawsuits do not actually go to trial. So, do a lot of accident lawsuits settle or not? The bold truth is a lot of accident lawsuits do settle before trial. That being said, there are a lot of different reasons this is the case. Let’s take a look at a few.
Let’s assume you get in a car crash. You break a leg and two ribs and will miss work for a week. The side of your car is bashed in and needs to be fixed. The other driver is at fault and has insurance. You hire an attorney who contacts the insurance company for the other driver. What is likely to happen?
The answer depends a lot on their insurance policy. Let’s assume they have $30,000/$100,000 coverage, a typical policy in many states. This means the insurance company will pay up to $30,000 per claim, but no more than $100,000 in a year. In short, you have a potential claim recover of $30,000.
Since the fault for the accident is not disputed, the insurance company and your attorney are going to be arguing damages. Your attorney is going to collect and provide the clear hard costs such as your medical bills, towing bills, car repair estimates and so on.
He or she is then going to argue with the insurance company about whether you can recover lost wages. If they are successful, they are then going to get into a tussle about how much in wages can be recovered. This will be contrasted with damages for pain and suffering. You attorney will probably make an effort to have most of these damages claimed as pain and suffering instead of wages for tax purposes. Pain and suffering damages are not taxed, but lost wages are.
At the end of the day in our example, the total settlement will probably be in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The hard costs will probably run $5,000 to $10,000 and the remainder can be attributed to lost wages and pain and suffering. Obviously, the situation in your state may differ, so speak with an attorney to get an accurate answer for your area.