Is It Better to Go to Court or Accept a Settlement Offer?
Accident victims have the right to pursue compensation when their damages are the result of another’s carelessness. And though many plaintiffs believe that taking their personal injury lawsuit to court is the ultimate endgame, a pretrial settlement is often the better route.
Court proceedings can be long, emotionally draining and overly complicated. If you’re wondering whether it’s better to go to court to accept a settlement offer, read on to understand the advantages of negotiating a fair pretrial settlement.
The Real Costs of Going to Court
Before making the decision to take a lawsuit to court, plaintiff’s should consider the expenses that could come from their trial. Depending on the nature of your accident, your case might require expert testimony, eye witnesses, or travel to and from court for yourself and others—expenses that can quickly add up.
Furthermore, it is common practice for attorney’s fees to increase for court-related action. Depending on the contingency fee agreement that you sign, it might be more cost-effective to have your attorney strike an agreement out of court with the at-fault party.
The cost of litigation for both parties increases the longer that proceedings negotiations play out, so most disputes are settled out of court. Whereas a settlement can be agreed to as soon as investigations and negotiations conclude, trials have been known to drag out for years, further delaying the time it will take to get your compensation.
Negotiating a Settlement Offer with an Insurance Company
When evaluating the strength of your claim, an insurance adjuster will look at the chance your claim has to win in court and the overall value of your claim. The economic damages—such as medical expenses or damages to property—are much easier to calculate than the intangible ones, such as pain and suffering.
The insurance adjuster will usually make an offer that accounts for a percentage of your total claim. Sometimes, and especially if you are defending yourself without the help of an attorney, the adjuster will be authorized to make an offer that falls well short of the real value of your claim.
This is why most accident victims retain the services of an attorney. A lawyer can help you understand the full value of your claim while using their experience in dealing with insurance companies to get you the best settlement offer possible.
Contact a Top-Rated Attorney in Richmond Today
Litigation is a costly proposition, both financially and emotionally—but there’s no reason negotiating a settlement has to be. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to signal to the at-fault party’s insurance company that you mean business. The lawyers at Halperin Law Center are passionate about helping their clients win maximum settlements. They can fight for you too.
Want to speak with a top-rated attorney from our firm? Call 804-527-0100 or fill out the form below to schedule a free, no-hassle consultation.