Although the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that hundreds of thousands of personal injury cases are filed each year, only about 4 percent of these cases ever go to trial. Many personal injury claims are settled out of Court after pre-trial litigation, while others are settled before a lawsuit is filed. Below are examples of when it would be more beneficial for you to settle a personal injury claim outside of Court.
Before You’ve Filed a Lawsuit
Preparing a case for trial can be a lengthy and complex process. Often, especially when liability (if not damages) can be established fairly easily, it can make more sense to save the time involved in litigating a personal injury lawsuit and instead begin the settlement negotiations before you’ve even filed a lawsuit.
This gives you the option to file your lawsuit in Court if you’re certain you’ll be unable to reach an agreement. The litigation process can also go more quickly if you already have some idea of the defenses that will be raised and the amount the defendant is willing to pay.
When You Need Compensation Immediately
It’s almost never a good idea to accept a defendant’s low-ball offer just because you feel the pressure of mounting medical bills. It’s also not helpful to your long-term financial security to go through years of instability and a lowered credit score for the prospect of a future payoff. If you need money sooner rather than later, you may want to discuss with your attorney some tactics to use to get the highest possible settlement offer as soon as you can. This is a personal decision and should involve communication between yourself and your attorney.
When You’re Represented By an Attorney
Although there are many situations in which it can make sense to settle a personal injury lawsuit prior to trial, it never makes sense to negotiate a settlement without the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Neither the defendant nor his or her insurance company has your best interests in mind when making a settlement offer, and signing an agreement to settle your case without first getting legal advice could mean leaving money on the table and be trapped in mounting future medical costs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, now is the time to act. There are strict time limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, and waiting too long could leave you without options. Give the knowledgeable attorneys at Ginnis & Krathen, P.A. a call at (954) 833-7044 or visit our website to schedule your free case evaluation today.