When Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?
Florida residents who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence may have standing to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. If successful, these claims can result in a damages award compensating the injured party for his or her medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, this does not necessarily mean that a person who is injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s actions must go to trial in order to recover damages. In fact, most personal injury cases actually settle out of court, which can save the parties a significant amount of time, money, and stress.
Every case is different, so whether a plaintiff must go to trial or can settle the claim out of court, depends on the facts of the case, including the severity of the injuries, the defendant’s degree of fault, and the parties’ willingness to negotiate. For help determining whether your own case will need to go to trial in order to be resolved, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.
Factors in Settling a Claim
There are a number of factors that insurance adjusters and attorneys take into consideration when evaluating whether a case can be resolved through negotiation and settlement, including:
- The extent of the plaintiff’s injuries;
- Whether the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident;
- The defendant’s degree of culpability; and
- The number of individuals who were injured in the accident.
In most cases, the parties involved in a personal injury claim will at least attempt to settle the case, so as to avoid a lengthy and potentially expensive trial. This process usually involves several offers and negotiations and if successful, a final settlement agreement, in which the injured party will receive monetary compensation in exchange for agreeing not to go to trial. It’s important to note that once a settlement offer has been accepted and the agreement has been signed, the plaintiff will not be able to change his or her mind and take the case to trial. For this reason, it is extremely important for plaintiffs to be happy with their settlement offer and believe that it fairly compensates them for their injuries before agreeing to sign.
Going to Trial
If, however, the defendant in the case refuses to accept responsibility for the accident, or is particularly combative, he or she may refuse to make a settlement offer at all. Alternatively, the parties could have attempted to reach an agreement, but ultimately been unable to agree on the settlement amount. In either case, the plaintiff will need to take the defendant to court in order to receive damages compensating them for their injuries.
One of the biggest advantages to taking a case to trial is that the plaintiff could be awarded a larger settlement. On the flip side, the plaintiff also risks the possibility of receiving no settlement at all if the judge or jury does not rule in his or her favor. Going to trial can also be a stressful and time consuming process, especially when a case is particularly complex.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
For help determining whether you should take your case to trial or attempt to negotiate with the at-fault party, please contact the dedicated Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 today to schedule a free initial consultation.