WHY MOST PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS END IN OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENTS
Whenever you are involved in an accident and need to file a lawsuit for damages incurred, most people may initially anticipate a trial. However, studies have shown that more than 90% of personal injury claims do not go to court and rather, are settled out of court via negotiations between both parties and eventual agreement. The time-intensiveness and costliness of a trial are some of the main reasons why people would rather just settle out of court as long as they can come to a reasonable agreement which both parties are okay with.
ADVANTAGES OF SETTLING OUT OF COURT
The defendant, i.e. the person being accused of negligent behavior, usually pays for a lawyer out of his or her own purse. The trial process may involve expert witnesses, reconstruction of the accident amongst other things and all this can be pretty expensive. Also, the defendant cannot be sure exactly what will happen at the end of the trail. Reaching a settlement rather than going to trial can help the defendant save a whole lot of money.
The plaintiff on, the other hand, may have reached an arrangement where he or she doesn't pay the lawyer unless they win the case, but even at that, there are still benefits to be gained from settling out of court.
In an event where the plaintiff wins the case, not all the money goes into their pocket as he or she has people to pay. The attorney, expert witnesses, for example amongst others. A settlement does not involve many of these elements and will save the plaintiff some money at the end of the day.
Some other things responsible for most personal injury claims ending with out of court settlements are as follows,
1.) Unpredictable jury.
2.) The speed of settlements as opposed to long, drawn-out trials.
3.) Cost-effectiveness of settlements as opposed to trials.
4.) The stress involved in trials is much more than that involved in settlements. While a large number of cases making up the majority do not eventually end in a trial, there are a good number of cases where a settlement just won't cut it. In some cases, the defendant may refuse to admit to guilt or may insist on paying a pittance of what they ordinarily should. In such a case, those cases usually end up in a trial.
For those that do not, however, these are a few tips for when you want to settle your personal injury claim out of court.
1.) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A THOROUGH DOCUMENTATION OF THE ACCIDENT AS WELL AS THE INJURY AND DAMAGES THAT RESULTED FROM IT
Do not make unclear statements which do not carry relevant explanation. These will not hold up in court. Your details and explanations need to be very relevant to the accident and also come with appropriate documentation.
These details will make your court case so strong that the defendant's side will be more than willing to settle out of court for fear of being tasked with paying an inordinate sum.
2.) MAKE SURE YOU TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES
Make sure that you have relevant pictures and even video recordings of the accident as well as injuries and damages that stemmed from it. You can also take pictures which show your progress throughout the treatment process, as well as the treatment process also. The timeline of your injuries and treatment has to be verifiable. When you do this and the case goes to trial, the jurors will be more inclined to taking your side as they will be more appreciative of what you sent through and survived.
Also, pictures can prove the probability of you being disfigured or of you having to carry a scar around permanently.
Do not be scared that you have too many pictures taken, no, that can never be the case. Your lawyer will sift through and select the best and most relevant so you need to provide him or her with enough pictures to select from. In some cases, x-rays can even be included.
PROOF OF DAMAGES THAT CAN BE QUANTIFIED SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE
You need to be able to prove the economic damages you suffered. Wages you lost, medical bills and other things which are easily quantifiable should be included. Once the other side sees that the damages are very provable and compelling, they will be more than amenable to the idea of settling the case out of court.
If you do not have any proof of economic damages, however, then they might attempt to lowball you.
4.) AVOID EXAGGERATING THE ACCIDENT YOU WERE INVOLVED IN OR THE INJURIES YOU SUFFERED
The facts should speak for themselves. Refrain from embellishing the story to make it 'better'. If you have a case, there will be no need to do any of that. Do your best not to seem as though you are bitter about the accident or out for vengeance. This might make the jury pity the defendant.
Simply stick to the facts which can be verified and your case will progress smoothly
. 5.) MAKE SURE THE PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY YOU GET IS EXPERIENCED
There are good lawyers in various fields of law. If it is a personal injury case, however, do not go ahead to hire a divorce lawyer with little to no experience on the personal injury scene. If you have a strong case and an equally strong lawyer representing you, the other side will be more willing to settle the case out of court.
For this reason, you need to hire a fort worth personal injury attorney as they have a proven history of well-handled cases with stellar results.
Some people think they can handle their case by themselves, but think about the fact that even professional lawyers can have a hard time against some insurance companies, how much better will you then fare on your own? Representation is important.