If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to take legal action to seek compensation for your losses. When you think of filing a personal injury claim, you may start to think about lawsuits, trials, and juries. Fortunately, the majority of claims settle before all of that happens. Settlements are acquired through negotiations, and there are a number of benefits to settling an injury claim.
It’s important to consider all of your options after an accident, as well as the specific facts of what happened when determining how you want to go about recovering damages. Even if you’re open to the idea of settling a claim, you’ll want to be supported by strong legal representation to ensure you receive the maximum reward possible.
Reduce Your Legal Costs
Most personal injury plaintiffs establish a contingency fee arrangement with their attorney. This means that, on average, the attorney will receive around 33 percent of any pre-trial settlement and approximately 40 percent of any amount received after trial begins. There are also costs associated with pre-trial litigation. While some plaintiff’s attorneys will agree to pay expenses like an expert witness upfront, that does not always happen. If they are paid upfront, then they are subtracted from any award or settlement. The earlier a case settles, the less expensive it is for both parties—particularly the defendant who typically has to pay their attorney hourly.
Resolve Your Injury Claim Sooner
If your personal injury claim goes to trial, it’s unlikely your court date will be sooner than at least a year after it’s been filed. Once your trial day is set and takes place, it’s possible the process could be extended even longer if the party that does not win chooses to file an appeal.
With a settlement, both parties know how much money will be awarded to the plaintiff, and once the agreement is signed, it is not appealable. If both parties agree, the attorneys are likely to negotiate terms in a short amount of time. Days, weeks, or even months are significantly better than years when it comes to settling a legal issue.
Avoid the Stress of a Trial
While personal injury trials are not necessarily the longest, the process can be stressful for everyone involved. You may be subjected to examination and cross-examination on the witness stand and have your past publically scrutinized. There are tense moments throughout the entire process: opening and closing statements, motions, objections, and waiting for the jury to deliberate. The weeks leading up to a trial can also be stress-inducing, as there is a lot that needs to get done to have a successful case.
There’s also the matter of liability and damages being unpredictable at trial. There is no guarantee the jury will award you more than what the defendant is offering to settle. The judge could exclude key evidence, an eyewitness could be seen as unreliable, or inconsistencies in testimony could cause issues.
When you are able to settle an injury claim, you won’t have to worry about stepping before a judge or jury. Instead, your lawyer will handle the negotiations on your behalf. The defendant will pay damages, and the matter will conclude. This will allow you to recover physically and mentally.
Have Your Injury Claim Handled Privately
Many personal injury lawsuits are public record. That means anyone can walk into a courthouse and look at what’s going on. Anyone can also look at transcripts of court proceedings. As long as the question asked is deemed relevant by the judge, it’s considered fair game. Depending on your situation, this could mean having to answer uncomfortable questions about your personal life or medical history.
When you settle outside of court, you don’t have to worry about your legal matter being publicly available for review. The only aspect that is made public is the terms of the settlement. You won’t have to worry about your medical records or other private details becoming a matter of public record or what personal information you’d have to expose to the world.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
If you have questions about pursuing a personal injury claim or you’re looking to file a claim after an accident, Thomas Law Offices is here for you. We have extensive experience representing accident victims in many practice areas. When you schedule a case evaluation with our law firm, we’ll review what you’ve been through and provide you with advice on how best to proceed. Contact us today for more information.