Most car accident victims just want to move on with their lives. They don’t want to relive their accident and struggle to cope with the ramifications of it, but the truth of the matter is that that’s exactly what most car accident victims are forced to do. A lot of times, though, these individuals see a quick way out: a settlement offer. Here, a negligent party offers to pay a certain amount of damages in exchange for avoiding trial and any future claims. While a settlement might provide some quick financial relief and help you move on to the next chapter of your life expeditiously, is it really your best option?
Things to consider
Before accepting a settlement offer, you really need to analyze your case. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to take into account:
- How much is your case worth? By looking at your accumulated and expected medical expenses, lost and expected lost wages and earnings capacity, and your noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, you can come up with the value of your case. This gives you a starting point to help you analyze just how close the settlement offer is to truly paying for your damages.
- The evidence: If there’s strong evidence to prove negligence and causation, then you’re much more likely to succeed at trial. In these instances, a low settlement offer may be unacceptable, and your strong evidence can be used as leverage to get you a better outcome. Of course, if your case is on the fence, then you’ll want to tread lightly to get the best results you can, which may mean avoiding trial.
- How similar cases have panned out: No two cases are the same, but there are strong similarities amongst many personal injury cases. Therefore, you might want to take a look to see how juries have found in cases similar to yours to see if you have the upper hand.
- The time and effort involved with litigation: If a settlement offer is right for you and the facts are on your side, then it’s probably best to take your case to trial, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for the months that it can take to get to trial and the stress of dealing with the risks involved before taking this route.
Be prepared with the strongest case possible
In the end, the success of your case, whether through negotiation or litigation, is dependent upon the strength of your case. To make sure that you have the best case possible, you might want to work with an attorney who knows how to develop an aggressive legal strategy that leaves no stone unturned.