Why You Need a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Settlement
This is probably not the answer that most people want to hear, but it makes a lot more sense to try to settle a case that you have before the court instead of going to trial. Going to trial gets all of the press and makes watching legal dramas fun, but trials are rarely the way that the real world works. After an accident, you are probably going to want to settle your case anyway. The truth is that any liable party is going to stretch things out as much as they possibly can before getting dragged into court. You probably do not have the time to sit around and wait for your money to arrive. Instead, you need some kind of action to be taken right now. This means that you will need to have a personal injury lawyer who can work on your case immediately help protect your position in court and make sure that you are the one who ends up winning your case. Your lawyer may still take your case to trial, but it's worth it to try and pursue a settlement you're happy with first.
After an accident that was caused due to someone else’s carelessness, you are likely entitled to pursue legal damages and receive compensation for your injuries. One of the most common questions asked by injured parties pursuing personal injury claims is often surrounding how long the entire process will take. How quickly your personal injury claim gets resolved will depend mainly on the personal injury lawyer you hire to carry out the case and your claim’s specific facts. The more experienced and skilled your counsel, the more likely your claim will be quickly resolved. Similarly, if the facts of your case demonstrate someone’s liability in a straightforward manner, your claim will generally progress quickly.
A personal injury law firm will get to work reviewing the evidence, calculating the cost of your medical expenses and any damages that should be awarded for pain and suffering, and mount a substantial demand against the liable party’s insurance company. At this stage, your lawyer’s role is to prove that the insurance company’s client is responsible for making you financially whole, and negotiations will thus begin.
Attempting to settle upon a figure that both you and your attorney are comfortable with is one of the fastest ways to resolve your case. Settlement negotiations will occur continuously throughout the claims process and may take twists and turns depending on whether any new evidence emerges at any point in the case.
There are some cases in which the other party is being stubborn and does not want to settle with the individual that they have done some harm to. If you end up in the unfortunate situation where that individual is you, then you need some options opened up to you right away. You might have to end up taking this thing to trial simply because the other side is not willing to be fair about things. It is to be noted that these situations are rare, and you probably will not run into this.
Suppose the initial demand phase and its negotiations don’t lead to a settlement offer all parties agree with. In that case, your attorney will formally file a lawsuit, and the insurance company will have 30 to 45 days to respond to the suit. Often, insurance companies will take the opportunity to suggest the parties go into mediation to come up with a settlement offer and avoid trial. Because trials can often be lengthy and expensive, clients are generally advised to take advantage of mediation and use this approach as a strategy for resolving their claim. Savvy personal injury lawyers will be able to advise whether you’re better off going into mediation or taking the case to trial to win an even more significant award. However, be advised that trial can take up to one to two years to complete.
You may have to decide if they would like to receive a lump sum payment or perhaps get a structured settlement as available in certain cases. Now, most of the time the lump sum payment is going to be the only optio, but there is at least some chance that a structured settlement may be in the works. You should know how each works so that you may determine which is best in your particular circumstances.
A structured settlement option may be available to you in certain circumstances, and you may have your own reasons for selecting it. Generally speaking, it is not the course that most choose to take as most would generally prefer to receive their money right now. However, in a structured settlement scenario, you will receive some lump sum of payment now while the remainder of the payment is deferred to a later time.
The defendant in this case will transfer the total of the amount to be paid to you to an insurance company that will then make those structured settlement payments to you on a regular schedule. You will want to make sure that the insurance company that takes this often is financially sound themselves to protect yourself from their possible bankruptcy. If they go bankrupt, then you lose out on that structured settlement at the same time.
As already alluded to, many have no choice but to go with a lump sum payment for their particular situation. There is nothing wrong with that, and it does allow you to start using the money that you have received in any manner that you deem appropriate. At the same time, you will need to be aware that you will be walking away from the possibility of receiving payments over the course of years as you would with a structured settlement. You get all of the money right now, and you have to be the one who is responsible for it. If you end up wasting it, then you are just going to have to deal with the consequences of that action.
Most of the time a lump sum payment is the better option for people. It is also often the only option that they are presented with, so the choice is made for them. The reason why it is one that should be preferred is because it doesn't require that you stick around and wait for a long period of time to receive the funds that are rightfully yours. You do also not have to take a gamble that the insurance company is going to go broke at some point in time while you are waiting on some payments to finish up. These are the types of things that are important to most people, and they should be important to you as well.
A settlement does not mean that you are throwing in the white flag of surrender. It means that you and the other party have come to an agreement that allows them to pay you some set amount of money in order for this entire situation to go away. You do not have to continue to slog through the court system, and you are also able to get at least a little bit of compensation for the things that have happened for you. In this scenario, everyone wins.
The best thing to do is listen to your injury law firm each step of the way. The honest truth is that your lawyer has had plenty of experience working in these types of cases in the past and is more than happy to educate you on what they think the most likely outcome for you is going to be. You can listen to what they have to say and completely disregard it if you really want to, but the better option for you is to take their advice and run with it. You are probably going to fare a lot better if you just listen up when a qualified attorney is speaking. Make sure that you run some figures at least in your head and figure out how much it is worth to you to really run this thing through its course. You might just be better off taking the settlement now.
Engaging in a personal injury lawsuit, deciding when to settle, and heading to court, all require a lot of trust in your attorney. Reputation speaks volumes, but there are a host of other factor to consider. Take a look and what we've outlined below, and consider giving us a call.
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