PERSONAL INJURY LAW PROTECTS VICTIMS FROM OTHERS’ NEGLIGENCE. BUT NOT ALL CASES RESULT IN A LAWSUIT FOR PERSONAL INJURY. MOST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS WILL NOT RUSH INTO A LAWSUIT. FIRST, THEY EXPLORE OTHER RESOURCES FOR COMPENSATION.
If you have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident, you generally have a couple of options if you pursue a personal injury claim. One option is to accept a settlement outside of court, and the other is to take a case to trial.
Most personal injury claims never make it to court and settle before reaching a trial decision. But some cases are better off going before the court. A skilled personal injury lawyer will understand what your case is worth and know when you are being offered a fair settlement or whether your best option is to go to court.
NEGOTIATING A FAIR SETTLEMENT
A settlement is a formal resolution of a lawsuit before the court resolves it. A personal injury case can be settled at any point before or during litigation, with many cases being settled before a lawsuit is even filed.
The attorneys or the attorney and an involved insurance company will begin a negotiation process. Most of the time, the plaintiff and defendant, or the defendant’s insurance company, will reach a settlement agreement that can satisfy everyone before going to trial. Once an agreement is made, a settlement document is executed, and the defendant and insurance company is released from further liability.
WHEN IS IT BEST TO GO THROUGH WITH A LAWSUIT FOR PERSONAL INJURY?
Some cases, however, are best resolved by the court. When a personal injury case goes to trial, both parties must argue their case before a judge or jury that will decide whether the defendant should be held liable for damages and for how much.
While a trial may only last a few short hours, trials demand an incredible amount of time for preparation. This can result in more extensive attorney fees and court costs.
PROS AND CONS OF SETTLING OUT OF COURT
Depending on the accident claim, there are benefits and disadvantages of settling a lawsuit for personal injury out of court.
Settlements are generally much quicker, less costly, and less stressful. A plaintiff can accept or deny a settlement and choose to negotiate a more advantageous one. Once a settlement is accepted, it is permanent and can’t be renegotiated.
While a court trial may reap a better award, it can be a long and expensive process. A plaintiff will be subject to additional attorney fees and court costs. In a trial, the defendant and plaintiff must accept whatever the judge or jury decides. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help a client decide if going to trial will be worth the additional costs and time.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ATTORNEY
When you have suffered an accident, personal injury law will protect you if the accident was caused in whole or in part by another party’s negligence. An experienced personal injury lawyer will attempt to get as much compensation as possible for you to help offset your financial burdens. But it is essential to hire the right attorney for your needs.
While you will want to find a lawyer with great experience, you also don’t want a personal injury lawyer who will rush you to trial to accumulate more attorney fees. Conversely, you also want an attorney with significant trial experience in case you go to court.
Generally, only four to five percent of personal injury cases go to court. You will want to discuss with prospective attorneys about their processes and what percentage of their cases go to trial. A highly experienced personal injury lawyer will understand the value of your claim and whether your settlement is sufficient or if you should take the matter before the court.
At the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman, we understand the value of a fair settlement and will work diligently to negotiate the best possible settlement. But there are times when this is not possible through negotiation. If you have been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to get the best possible compensation for your injuries, no matter what it takes.
Contact us today to speak to an attorney about your case.