People having suffered personal injuries approach the courts for appropriate redressal for their loss. Before a case becomes a lawsuit, the claim must pass through several steps to be eventually presented in front of a jury.
More than 90% of personal injury claims are settled outside the court, even before a lawsuit is filed. And even when filed, courts exhibit an inherent inclination towards reaching an amicable settlement between the parties, which satisfies both of them on a single conclusion. Despite that, if there is no agreeable settlement offer, the personal injury lawsuit proceeds to a trial, and the jury hears the legal arguments.
Of course, both sides are at liberty to fight a case in their favor. That’s why the court then passes a verdict, deciding whether the defendant should pay an award of damages or compensation to the suffering victim, i.e., the plaintiff.
However, settlements are quicker than personal injury trials, and most of the time, there is absolutely no need to spend extended periods in trial to win a case. Furthermore, negotiations and table talks between parties remain within the confines of just four walls instead of trials held and made public. This is why litigants flock towards securing a settlement way before a trial is initiated. And even after a trial has started, a settlement can still be reached between the parties.
Settlements are essential to litigation and are stricken far more frequently than trials ever are.
Here, we will discuss some factors worth considering before accepting a settlement offer.
1) The foundation of your personal injury case matters
The very foundation building up your entire case is the injury you have suffered. These claims are made out of injuries, including physical harm as well as mental agony.
That’s why it is necessary to see if the injuries are extreme or catastrophic and if they appear to be highly damaging, worthy of being acknowledged by the court in a trial or a well-valued settlement offer.
What also dramatically matters is the long-term effects of the injury caused to you. An accident that causes permanent physical impairment, or makes any of your skills non-utilizable, is deemed to play in your favor when it comes to the settlement table.
If the injury is noticeable and substantial, a jury may be willing to award damages whenever the lawsuit reaches the decision stage.
The acknowledgment of a highly valued award of damages is highly likely to turn a defendant desperate for the first settlement money into proposing better compensation.
2) The strength of your claim is essential
A number of personal injury plaintiffs have suffered a form of detriment at the defendants’ hands, and this holds a great field.
However, there is a difference between lawsuits filed by a single individual and those filed by a group of people, known as a class-action lawsuit.
When multiple people bring in similar and valid claims before the court, it projects high suspicion upon the defendant. This imposes pressure upon the faulty party, who may then be willing to settle the matter before it is even taken up to a jury.
Similarly, when a plaintiff sues an insurance entity for an accident proven to be the defendant’s fault, the victim has the case in their favor.
Whether it is a class action or a single personal injury case, you can benefit from the strength of your claim against a defendant because it forces them to pay a decent settlement package.
3) The accident victim’s financial circumstances
Your financial situation is the key to whether a fair settlement offer is considered or not.
Many personal injury plaintiffs find themselves desperate for instant cash due to significant expenses and medical bills to pay before a case is settled. If this is you, you may end up accepting whatever lowball offer the insurance wants to give. Why? Because when defense attorneys or the insurance company are aware of your desperation, they may act aggressively to exploit your financial needs and manipulate you to agree to take an undervalued settlement amount. This is especially true for people who want quick money.
4) Who the defense is
The difference between an insurance company and a private entity can greatly impact the outcome of a case.
For instance, let’s say you bring your personal injury claim against an individual business; you both may want to contest the lawsuit at trial with full force and effort. In this entire scenario, the business’s finances and reputation are put at stake. Lousy publicity, negative image, and reputation are significant deterrents to trial. Companies, corporations, or even small businesses cannot afford to be subject to public questioning and allegations, even for merely frivolous claims. Some may not even have substantial lump sums to offer significant settlement amounts to the victim to avoid litigations. Further, they may likely go to trial since the outcome of the case is derived on merits and mainly because the chances of paying are split until a verdict is passed.
However, in contrast, this is the opposite when the defendant is an insurance company. Insurance companies tend to offer lesser settlement amounts because they can and are in the business of saving as much money as possible. In the case where you have already filed a personal injury lawsuit, the insurance company may want you to withdraw your action against them in return for the settlement money that is put on offer, which may still be less for them than litigation expense and a jury award.
You are at more risk of settling your case for less with an insurance company than with a private entity.
Due to the essential nature of legal settlements, plaintiffs face a broad spectrum of factors to consider whenever compensation is offered since defendants don’t want to get sued.
It is important to choose wisely and consider several aspects of your case with your attorney before deciding whether a settlement offer is worth taking and how much money your claim should ideally settle for.
Whether you have already filed a lawsuit or a claim, you may be in need of funds. Baker Street Funding offers pre-settlement funding for plaintiffs who need financial assistance while awaiting a fair settlement.
Apply for a lawsuit advance today.