While you might envision your personal injury lawyer arguing your case in front of a judge, the reality is that the majority of claims never make it to court. In fact, most personal injury lawsuits are resolved before going to trial through a negotiated settlement between the parties.
Settlements in personal injury lawsuits happen when the plaintiff in the case agrees to stop pursuing legal action against the defendant in regard to the accident or injury and the defendant usually agrees to a financial settlement.
If you have been offered a settlement, it is in your best interest to consider every aspect of the case and consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine if the settlement amount is fair in comparison to your injuries.
Before You Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you’re the plaintiff, important factors to consider before extending or accepting an offer to settle your personal injury claim include:
– How much of the settlement will go towards lawyer’s fees and expenses
– How accepting a settlement will affect your income taxes
– Non-economic considerations like pain and suffering and quality of life
– The amount of insurance coverage the defendant has
– The defendant’s financial resources
– The defendant’s lawyer’s negotiation process and tactics
– What you are willing to concede in order to settle the case
– The minimum amount of money you are willing to accept
– The possibility of a partial settlement
– Your ultimate goal in filing the personal injury lawsuit
Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in a P.I. lawsuit, there are some issues that absolutely must be considered once the lawsuit reaches the settlement stage, such as:
– The overall value of the case
– Verdicts and settlements in similar cases and trials
– The possibility the case will even be called for trial
– Chances of actually winning the lawsuit at trial
– Publicity, both good and bad, for both sides
– The possibility of both personal and business information being made public at trial or through the discovery process
– Difficulties in trying the case
– Weaknesses in both your and your opponent’s evidence
– Whether your opponent is willing to go to trial
– What you are willing to concede to settle the case
Settlements are not any less complicated than court trials; in order to recover what you are entitled to, you should consult a personal injury attorney who can explain your legal options as well as the pro’s and con’s of accepting a settlement versus taking your personal injury lawsuit to trial.
For more information on receiving a fair settlement for your personal injuries, visit http://www.tomkileylaw.com/swat/index.cfm.