Many personal injury lawsuits that stem from car accidents end up settling before they get to trial. While it’s true that a settlement can get you some quick financial relief in your time of need, you really need to scrutinize whether a settlement offer is really in your best interests before accepting it.
How do you do that? There are a number of things to consider.
- First, know what your case is worth. Calculate you lost wages, accrued and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost earnings capacity. You’ll also want to take into account your noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. These can be difficult calculations to make, but getting an accurate picture of what your case is worth is critical to determining whether a settlement offer is too low.
- Assess how much of the accident, if any at all, can be attributed to you. Depending on the amount of fault allocated to you at trial, your damages will be reduced accordingly. This is known as contributory fault. Therefore, if your found to be 40% at fault and are awarded $10,000, you’ll actually only receive $6,000.
- Know how strong your case is, taking into account a variety of factors. Those factors may include any existing evidentiary issues, how juries have found in similar cases, and whether there’s ample case law to support your position.
- Ask yourself how much time and energy you’re willing to put into a trial. For many people, the potential of recovering $5,000 more by going to trial isn’t worth the effort and stress associated with prolonged litigation. So, taking the other factors into account, you need to think about whether you want to see your case all the way through and opt for quicker resolution.
Every car accident case is different, so there’s no one-size fits all approach. As such, whether a settlement offer is right for you is entirely dependent on what you want and the facts at hand. If you’d like assistance analyzing your case and developing a legal strategy that works for you, then consider reaching out to an experienced personal injury law firm that has a strong track record of success.