I am often asked by my client if they should try to settle or go to court. That depends on the facts of their case. This article discusses the pros and cons of both processes.
Some car and truck collision cases need to be heard by a jury. Large damage cases or those involving driving while intoxicated or other violations of criminal law should often be presented to a jury. I am about to file a lawsuit in a crash that tragically took the life of a passenger.
Even so, almost all car and truck wreck cases settle outside of a courtroom. That means that the chance of your claim being successfully resolved without you testifying in front of a jury is excellent.
That is good news for most people. Over the past 41 years, when I ask my clients if they would rather settle or go to court, almost everyone prefers to negotiate first.
A favorable settlement will happen if people have hired a good personal injury lawyer who can obtain the maximum amount of money possible.
In addition, other insurance policies and resources may have to pay. Business owners, employers, vehicle manufacturers, and government entities, may be responsible.
It is a written agreement that resolves all issues. A settlement is negotiated before or after a lawsuit is filed.
How does this happen? After the injured victim recovers from their injuries and damages can be determined, their lawyer submits a demand package to the other driver’s insurance company.
Negotiations follow. Counter-offers and counter-demands are made. The victim’s attorney meets or speaks with the insurance adjuster and/or their lawyer to argue the merits of the case and demand that more money is paid.
If an amicable resolution can be reached, documents are signed, a check is written to pay the victim, and the case is closed.
Smaller injury cases, e.g. those involving neck and back strains and sprains, are good candidates to try to settle.
Each case is different. There are different stages when a case may be settled. Each has its pros and cons. The choices are
A. Soon after the crash if liability is clear and the injuries and medical bills substantially exceed the insurance policy limit.
B. After the injured person has recovered.
C. After a lawsuit is filed and discovery is completed.
D. At a mediation. This is a negotiation session that takes place in the offices of an attorney or via Zoom.
E. Just before trial.
F. During trial
Texas law gives injured people 24 months to seek medical treatment, recover from their injuries, and attempt to settle or go to court. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, suing certain government entities requires that a notice of claims is filed within six months under the Tort Claims Act.
It is never a good idea to wait. You or your family member are already injured, may be missing time from work, and probably do not have the time or resources to take on an insurance company.
The company will close its file or only reserve a small amount of money unless it knows that the injured person is serious.
We at Berenson Injury Law obtain critical evidence including
I can then analyze a crash’s financial value by analyzing many variables discussed here:
You might assume that the at-fault driver and their insurance company are going to be fair. You might think that they want to quickly do these things:
No,just the opposite often happens. Insurance representatives are paid to delay, minimize, and deny payment. The less money they pay to injured people, the more money their company makes.
This is the first reason that people hire the best car accident lawyer they can find.
My team and I fight to achieve justice and maximize every client’s financial recovery. We know how devastating injuries are and how car and truck crashes can affect people’s lives. These are the only cases we handle.
For more information, please contact us at 885-801-8585 or click here.