How Are Personal Injury Cases Resolved?
If you file a personal injury case, there are two ways the case can be resolved: by going to court or coming to an agreement with the other party outside of court. Most of the time, cases are settled outside of court, but rarely they will go to trial. Keep reading to learn more about how personal injury cases are resolved:
The Settlement Process
After a claim is filed, the plaintiff and the defendant may start negotiating toward settlement. Typically, if you file a claim, your attorney will collect evidence and come up with a reasonable compensation amount that they believe your case is worth. They will write up paperwork and send it to the defendant’s lawyer or insurance company. Typically, this amount is within a range, and the lawyer will try to reach a negotiation within that range.
The defendant’s lawyer or insurance company will estimate how much a jury would award the plaintiff during a trial, and they will try to negotiate an amount below this number.
Once one side makes an offer, the other side will come back with a counter offer. This process could go back and forth a number of times until both parties come to an agreement. If an agreement isn’t reached, then the personal injury case will go to court. It is possible that if your case goes to court, you could always reach a settlement with the other side up until a verdict is announced.
After a settlement is reached, then the plaintiff must agree to give up all claims against the defendant in relation to the accident outlined in the claim.
Why Do Most Claims Settle?
You may be wondering why most cases settle instead of going all the way through a trial in court. There are several reasons why, and we explore some of them below:
Defendant can control risks and avoid legal costs
If the defendant knows they are responsible for the accident in question, or if the plaintiff’s injuries are significant and fault is uncertain, then they probably don’t want to get in front of a jury that sympathizes with the plaintiff.
Defendant will stay out of the public eye
Some personal injury cases are high profile, meaning the defendant is someone who is in the public eye. If they don’t want bad press, then they will be more likely to settle instead of taking the case to court.
Plaintiff avoids a lengthy trial
Most of the time, the plaintiff needs and wants financial relief sooner than later. Not everyone can afford the medical bills, lost wages, and other financial hardships that come with being in an accident. Trials can last for months, and if appeals are filed, it can extend the time even more.
Plaintiff has a guaranteed win with settlement
Just because a personal injury case is taken to court doesn’t mean the plaintiff will get the compensation they deserve. Anything can happen, but if a settlement is reached, then they will definitely get some compensation.
One of the most important things you need during a personal injury case is an experienced attorney who knows how to negotiate with other lawyers and insurance adjusters. If you have been injured in an accident and need help getting the compensation you deserve, reach out to one of our personal injury lawyers today.