For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.
If you are planning on filing a lawsuit, then you probably have dreams of a pretty big payout. However, that isn't actually how most lawsuits end. Instead, you will probably get a settlement, which can be a little counterintuitive. To help you understand how your case will likely play out, here is an overview of how settlements work:
What is a settlement?
In a general sense, a settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant that is entered out of court. The agreement stipulates that the lawsuit will be dropped, and the plaintiff will be given a sum of money in exchange.
There are a variety of reasons why the defense might offer you a settlement, ranging from an unwillingness to deal with the bad publicity of an extended lawsuit to a fear of losing the lawsuit. In any event, the payout will likely be less than the amount of money that you asked for, but the actual value will vary drastically depending on the situation.
In fact, you will essentially need to haggle over the amount of the settlement. This is a key area where a lawyer can come in very handy, since they will likely have a great deal of experience in dealing with settlements. They will be able to tell you what constitutes a fair amount of money for your given situation and what your chances are if you refuse the settlement.
Why give up the chance for a bigger payout?
First and foremost, a settlement is guaranteed money, whereas your lawsuit is not. Further evidence could appear that could change the court's opinion of your lawsuit, which could influence your chances of winning. In turn, this could lead to a reduce amount of winnings down the road, which means that taking a settlement now would result in more money.
Settlements also simply reduce the amount that you will need to pay in legal fees, since a shorter trial will mean less hours worked by your lawyers. This doesn't apply to every case, but you will also be able to free yourself from the stress of the court case and the deadlines.
Finally, you could just lose the court case, which would mean that you get no money. The court could also rule in an unexpected way, greatly diminishing your damages. By taking the lawsuit now, you are trading in the possibility of large later win for a guaranteed amount of money today. If that money is enough to cover your costs (medical, legal, and auto repair bills, plus lost wages), then the settlement can be more than enough for your needs.Share
10 February 2016