Car accidents can sometimes result in severe injuries. If you have sustained injuries in this circumstance, you may have thoughts and questions about the option of settling your auto accident lawsuit without going to trial. Well, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
While any amount paid by an insurance company might seem enticing, chances are you could reap more in compensation by working with a legal expert. Therefore, you should consult an approved personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offered after a car accident.
Is It Better to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit or Go to Court?
Did you know most car accident lawsuits get settled out of court? The odds of success in settling increase when you work with an experienced personal injury attorney. That’s because most insurance organizations use their resources and defense attorneys to reduce the compensation payable to accident victims.
Although going to court has some advantages, such as allowing a jury to decide your case, the fact is that each car accident case is distinct. Other elements will determine the compensation you get. Here are some reasons why you should consider a settlement over going to court:
- The compensation is faster
- It is free from a long-term court process that includes a hearing, deposition, and trial
- It is free from unforeseen jury decisions
- Lowers or avoids the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney
Generally, the best option depends on whether the other party’s insurance company cooperates. For instance, if the other party’s insurance company limits you from receiving maximum compensation for your injury, a court trial may be a better option.
It is also harder to agree on the settlement packages in some car accident lawsuits, while other claims should be settled in court. The settlement is final once all parties agree, and the law prohibits one from renegotiating a new deal, no matter what occurs later. Thus, you cannot initiate a new deal if other injuries develop or your injuries worsen.
The Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Settlements
Car accident attorney works on a contingency basis. It implies that they are paid a percentage fee based on the contingency agreement.
Normally, most car accident lawyers accept 33% of pre-trial compensation and 40% or even more once the trial starts. A quick settlement implies that the complainant’s lawyer will get paid at a lesser cost.
Besides, settlements are typically more beneficial for the complainant’s attorney. It eases the burden of carrying out trial and pre-trial arrangements, which can require a lot of time with no assurance of profitable results.
Law firms are not designed for every case to end in lawsuits. In most circumstances, attorneys handle several cases at once. If every case ends with a lawsuit, attorneys wouldn’t have enough time to handle every case fully. Thus, effective bargaining is one of the approaches that personal injury attorneys use to ensure that they offer quality services to their clients.
Steps to Follow to Settle Your Car Accident Lawsuit Without Going to Court
Settlements serve as case resolutions to avoid court proceedings, and the parties can conduct deliberations even during the legal process. However, car accident injury claims are usually settled during the negotiation process before filing formal lawsuits.
The following are the steps for the settlement procedure:
Write a Demand Letter to Initiate Settlement Negotiation
A demand letter acts as a typical way of initiating a settlement negotiation of a car accident injury claim before court proceedings.
However, you need to collect enough evidence before drafting a demand letter. Admissible evidence includes medical records showing that you received medical attention. This evidence will give your personal injury lawyer a background of the case before they start handling the claim.
Details about your claim will assist your attorney in understanding the extent of the financial losses, pain, and suffering you sustained from the accident. Information from doctors, financial experts, and psychological health experts may also help your lawyer build a convincing argument justifying the settlement claim.
After gathering all medical records and evidence of liability for the auto accident, write a brief demand letter that chronologically captures all the events from the day the accident occurred to the dates surrounding your medical records.
You should provide sufficient information concerning the liability for the car accident as well as the actual expenses of your medical aid.
Demand Your Settlement
Once your car accident injury claim lawyer understands your case, they will either mail or personally deliver the letter to the driver at fault or their insurance company. The insurance firm will then investigate your case to assess its options before making a settlement offer if it welcomes your claim.
Both parties will then initiate a negotiation to agree on a settlement at this stage, but the firm will permit you to adjust your claim if it declines your letter.
Engage a Mediator If Required
Settlement negotiations sometimes fail, forcing the injured victim to file a lawsuit. Still, even before filing a lawsuit, both parties can agree and engage a mediator to resolve the situation in the absence of a court trial.
During the settlement process, you need to link up with your car accident injury attorney to decide on the compensation that will cover your losses.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement?
Knowing the exact value of settlements is not easy, since auto accident claims are not the same. Compensation depends on several factors, like the extent of your injury and car liability, which depicts the amount of financial losses you incur.
However, in 2020, the Insurance Information Institute reported that the average car accident liability was worth $20,235 for injury and $4,711 for car damage. You should note that nearly all settlements are in monetary terms. And legal representatives have the role of improving the outcome of your claims.
How Fast Is a Car Accident Settlement Process?
Settlements resolve cases faster than a court trial. On average, most people resolve their car accident injury claims under a year after their auto accident. But given the process of gathering evidence, drafting a demand letter, and negotiating, claims can take longer to settle. Still, the received compensation will be enough to help you recover your losses.
Factors such as hiring a personal injury lawyer and having severe injuries can also extend the duration of a settlement, but as stated earlier, you are likely to get higher compensation.
Contact Pacific West Injury Law Today
At Pacific West injury law, we assist our clients to get maximum compensation for car accident injury claims. Our team of car accident attorneys is experienced and readily available to help you settle your case out of court. Get in touch with us today by phone or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.