Settlement Vs. Trial: Factors To Consider Before Taking Your Car Accident Case To Trial


Most car accident injury cases end up in a settlement. Both parties agree on a reasonable compensation amount based on various factors such as liability, claim value, and evidence. However, sometimes the parties involved may fail to agree during the negotiation process. As an injured party, you can opt to wait out the process or sue. But how do you determine the choice that's best for your case? Below are some factors to consider before taking your case to trial.

Liability and State Laws

Before choosing a trial, it's essential to evaluate liability against the state laws. Most states fall under either of the two categories of negligence: comparative and contributory negligence. States with comparative negligence laws award damages to the injured party, even if they are partly liable for the accident. With contributory negligence, you won't receive compensation if you are partly to blame for the accident.

When you take your case to trial, the judge will apply state laws to your case. Thus, if your state employs contributory negligence laws, you need to prove that you were not liable for the accident. If there is any evidence that you contributed to the accident, you won't receive any compensation. However, if you choose to settle, you can agree on suitable compensation terms with the other party regardless of whether you were partly liable. 

Settlement Terms

Some insurance companies offer unreasonable settlement terms hoping the injured party will accept them. This trick often leads to injured parties receiving less compensation than what they are entitled to. For example, even after proving the other party's negligence, their insurer may fail to offer a reasonable settlement amount to cover your damages. In this case, you can file a suit and hope for a higher payout.

However, note that the judge can award a higher or lower amount based on evidence and state laws. Thus, if you go to court based on unreasonable settlement terms, gather adequate evidence. Provide all the medical records and other pertinent information that justifies your settlement terms. If possible, find expert witnesses to corroborate your claims.

Length of Negotiations Process

Settlement negotiations can drag on for months or years. Some insurers do this to discourage the injured driver, hoping they will accept a lower settlement amount. Filing a lawsuit can motivate the insurance company to hasten the negotiations. Just because you have sued the negligent driver doesn't mean you have to go to trial. If they adjust the settlement terms to your liking, you can drop the lawsuit.

Everyone hopes for their car accident claim to end in settlement. However, if you disagree with the other party on the terms, you can sue them. Consult an auto accident lawyer before considering a trial.


5 January 2021

After The Accident: A Law Resource Website

Getting in any sort of car accident is traumatic, especially if your injuries are bad enough to land you in the hospital. The last thing you want to worry about after the crash is medical bills, but sadly, insurance companies do not always make it easy to collect the funds to cover those expenses. On top of that, you have lost wages from the days you missed at work. There is a solution. Personal injury and car accident attorneys are there to make sure you get the compensation you deserve after a car accident. We've created this website to help you learn more about their services.