What Does it Mean to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
If you have been injured as a result of the fault or negligence of another person or party, it is likely that you will consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, most people are not aware that nearly 90 percent of personal injury claims are settled before it ever goes to court.
A settlement happens when the insurance company, person, or business makes an offer to pay you compensation for the damages that you have suffered as a result of an accident. Settlements can happen at any time during the claims process. Additionally, settlement agreements can even occur during a personal injury trial (as long as there hasn’t been a verdict delivered).
Unfortunately, many people take the first offer made to them and fail to adequately negotiate for maximum compensation during the process. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can substantially increase your chances of getting fairly compensated for your injuries and other damages suffered. More information here. Learn more about settling personal injury cases below.
Why Most Personal Injury Cases Are Settled
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled for a number of reasons. Not only can closing the case early be beneficial for the person filing the claim, but it can also be positive for insurance companies. Common reasons why personal injury cases are settled early include:
- It allows claimants to avoid additional legal costs and limit risks
- It can protect companies from negative press and bad publicity
- Can give plaintiffs the financial relief that they need
- It is a guaranteed win for the plaintiff
How to Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement
Negotiating a personal injury settlement is not always easy. Insurance companies have the experience, resources, and high-powered legal teams that allows them to bully many claimants into accepting low ball offers.
To increase the probability of receiving an offer that fully compensates you for your losses, you must present enough evidence of the defendant’s liability as well as the damages that you have suffered. Effectively negotiating personal injury settlements will require the following:
- Clearly established liability
- Calculation of general damages (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of reputation, emotional distress, etc.)
- Calculation of special damages (i.e. lost wages, medical expenses, property damages, etc.)
- Stong negotiation tactics and resolve to only accept offers that offer fair compensation
Most people do not have the negotiation ability or the knowledge of personal injury law like an attorney does. While it is possible to receive compensation without the help of an attorney, it is likely that you will leave a lot of money on the table in the process.
So You Need an Attorney to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
You can collect evidence, interview eyewitnesses, calculate your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your own. You do not need an attorney to settle a personal injury case. However, it is not recommended to do so.
Personal injury attorneys have the experience and legal acumen to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company throughout the claims process. They will not be intimidated and will push hard for maximum compensation. If you are unsure about hiring legal representation, it may be in your best interest to take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury attorney just to see if their help will benefit you.
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