On average, there are 10 million car accidents per year. More than two million people are injured in those crashes. Yet, only a small percentage go on to file personal injury lawsuits.
If you do file a suit, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a settlement offer.
Deciding whether or not to accept a settlement offer is a personal decision. It’s a decision you should make with your lawyer and your family. But there are some factors that may help you decide.
Read on to find out more about how to get the best settlement.
Analyzing a Settlement Offer
You may have heard that you should never accept the first offer someone gives you. That may be true if you’re haggling with a car salesman, but it’s not always true when it comes to a lawsuit settlement.
If you have a strong case, it’s worth pushing back against the initial settlement offer. What if the case is more complicated? Then, you may have to take what is offered to you.
Let’s say you get hit by a drunk driver. Police arrested the driver, and there’s clear evidence of intoxication. In that case, you have a good chance of getting a fair personal injury settlement.
If the other party knows your case is strong, they’ll be more eager to settle. Around 95 percent of lawsuits get settled before trial.
If the other driver was drunk, it’s clear the accident was their fault. Yet, it may not be 100 percent their fault.
It is important to ask your lawyer about contributory negligence laws in your state. Contributory negligence refers to something the plaintiff did to worsen the situation.
In some states, a plaintiff who is even partly responsible will be unable to recover any damages. While you may think the other side is low-balling you, your lawyer may advise you to take the settlement.
Taking the guaranteed payout is often the better decision, rather than taking your chances with a jury.
Other Factors to Consider
Civil trials are not known for being speedy affairs. If you file a lawsuit, you shouldn’t expect the case to be solved anytime soon.
If you’re injured and struggling to pay your medical bills, there’s a chance the defendant’s lawyers will try to stall the case even further.
Such tactics are frustrating but not illegal.
Your insurance company will also play a role in your personal injury settlement. Why? Because when you file a personal injury suit, you’re often suing the defendant’s insurance company rather than the defendant specifically.
In some cases, you might have reason to sue both. The insurance company will look at your claim and perform an investigation. The result will determine your initial settlement offer.
Get the Best Settlement Offer
The best settlement is one that allows you to move on with your life. That will mean different things for different people. But in general, it allows you to pay for both your medical bills and your lawyer.
Personal injury lawyers work on contingency. This means that they don’t get paid until you accept a settlement offer.
Our lawyers represent a variety of accident victims. Contact us today for a review of your case.