You have likely heard that most personal injury claims arising from auto accident settle out of court, without having to file a lawsuit.
Should you agree to do the same with your own personal injury case?
It’s a difficult question to answer, as no two cases are alike. For some claims, settling with the insurance company can result in less compensation than you hoped for and need. With others, you can get exactly what you need to cover your medical bills and help you recover. Here are a few things you should take into account and discuss with your personal injury attorney before agreeing to a settlement offer.
Advantages of Settling
There are many reasons why you might opt to settle your automobile accident case outside of court. They include:
- You have more control over the outcome. When your case is litigated, you and your attorney can ask for a particular judgment, but the judge and/or jury will come to their own conclusions about how much you’re entitled to. With a settlement, you can request a certain amount, and if the offer does not meet your expectations, you can counter it. If the damages are not especially large in your case, an insurance company is generally more inclined to engage in reasonable negotiations and offer a fair resolution.
- Settling is less stressful. Filing a lawsuit and attending court can be a stressful and lengthy process. When you settle, you may get your compensation sooner and not have to tell your story in front of a judge or jury.
- You can save money. Settling can save you money in court costs, attorney fees, professional witness fees, and other expenses associated with litigating a personal injury claim.
Disadvantages of Settling
While settling your automobile accident case can be a good idea if the offer you’re presented with seems fair, insurance companies are not always reasonable. They want to protect their bottom line and may look for ways to avoid paying everything you need to recover from a catastrophic injury. If they remain obstinate and refuse to fairly compensate you and your attorney, settling will not achieve the desired outcome.
Although there is always the risk that you will lose at trial, if you win, your award will typically be larger than what you would have received in a settlement. If you do lose your case, you have the option of appealing the decision, which is not an option with a settlement.
Working with an experienced automobile injury attorney can help you navigate the settlement negotiation process and make the best decision for your case. At GA Injury Advocates, we will advise you if you’ve been offered full and fair compensation, and fight for you in or out of the courtroom. To request a free and confidential case evaluation, call (770) 766-0555 or contact us here. We are here for you around-the-clock and we can be flexible when scheduling appointments. Hablamos español.