With all of the advertising that personal injury lawyers, you would think the majority of these cases wind up in front of a judge and jury. Surprisingly this is not the case as 90% to 95% of all claims are settled outside the courtroom. Most personal injury claims are settled during the litigation process and negotiations between the parties involved in the matter. However, if they do go to trial, it could be months or even years before any type of settlement is reached.
Settlements prior to the Need to go to Trial
In many instances, a personal injury claim will be resolved and settled before anyone files for a lawsuit. When a settlement is reached, the injury victim or plaintiff recovers damages in the form of compensation from the defendant or their insurance company. In turn, the plaintiff agrees not to pursue any additional legal action relevant to the accident and their injuries.
Factors to consider
If you’ve recently suffered injuries in an accident and are wanting to file a personal injury claim, or if the opposing party or their insurer have already proposed a settlement offer, it’s always a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer first. Not only is it important for them to assess and evaluate your case, the following factors need to be considered and discussed:
Strength of your case:
• chances of winning your case
• practical difficulties during litigation
• strength and weaknesses with the defendant’s evidence
• strengths and weaknesses with the plaintiff’s evidence
• verdicts and settlement outcomes of similar personal injury cases
Compensation for damages:
• defendant’s insurance policy coverage limits
• defendant’s personal financial resources
• minimum acceptable amount to resolve the claim out of court
• value of your case expressed as a dollar amount
• extent to which the defendant and his or her lawyer take a firm stand and are unwilling to negotiate a settlement
• length of time before the case goes to trial as well as estimated duration
• negotiation tactics of the opposing (defendant’s) lawyer
• personal information that could become public through discovery or in trial
• secrecy of classified business information at risk
• unfavorable publicity for the plaintiff and defendant
Regardless of what transpires during litigation and negotiations, the decision to accept a settlement rests on the shoulders of the plaintiff. Just remember that the defendant’s Personal Injury Lawyer in St. Catharines will be working in their best interests in order to get them the best possible for their client. That is why you need to have a good lawyer to help you deal with the legalities of the claim. Not just consultation but the lawyers, will take care of the whole claim, right from filing to taking it to settlement or trial.