Knowing When to Settle Your Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury cases will settle long before they go to trial. While this may be good news for someone who has been injured in a car or truck accident or suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, the challenge is knowing when is the right time to settle. Non-lawyers tend to settle their claims too soon and as a result, experience losses that they can never recover. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision about whether and when to settle your case.
What Are Your Medical Expenses?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your medical expenses are covered. Even if you have health insurance, you are entitled to recover any out-of-pocket medical expenses such as your deductibles and copays. You also need to consider what your future medical expenses will be if your injuries will require ongoing treatment and rehabilitative care. Keep in mind that new or experimental treatments or supplemental care may not be covered. As a result, it is vital to think carefully about what your current and future medical expenses are before deciding to accept a settlement.
How Do Your Injuries Affect Your Ability to Work?
You also need to consider the income that you have lost as a result of your accident. You are entitled to compensation for your lost income, including lost wages because you are unable to work or lost wages due to absences to receive medical treatment. If you are relatively certain that you will make a full recovery, determining your lost wages is a relatively straightforward computation.
The challenge arises when you may be facing any type of long-term or permanent limitations on your ability to work. This could be due to the fact that you are suffering from a physical disability but it could also be the result of mental or emotional trauma. Whatever the case may be, you need to be sure that your settlement includes any future income so that you will be able to meet your future expenses.
The Cost of Proceeding to Trial
Accident victims should understand what will be required of them if their cases go to trial. They may have to spend a significant amount of time working with their lawyer in preparation for their testimony. They may need to be deposed by the other party. For some people, this can be incredibly overwhelming and intimidating. They would rather accept less compensation than go through the anxiety and emotional turmoil of a trial. That said, trial is sometimes the only option for getting the compensation they need to rebuild their lives.
In addition, accident victims should also understand that litigation is expensive. While personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, most of them will typically charge a higher percentage if they have to proceed to trial, meaning that they will receive a greater share of whatever compensation you are awarded.
Both of these factors need to be considered when deciding whether or not to accept a settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney can walk you through these considerations, answer your questions, and help you make an informed decision.
Accident victims should also consider how long it may take for their case to go to trial. Some people would rather accept less compensation now than wait several months for potentially more compensation later on. Litigation can be a time-consuming process especially if there are complex legal issues or factual disputes.
What Is Your Pain and Suffering Worth?
You will likely face the greatest opposition to that portion of your claim that represents your pain and suffering. One of the reasons for this is that it is difficult to monetize the physical pain and mental anguish you have suffered as a result of your accident. Those who may never fully recover may be less willing to settle their claim, while those whose lives will return to normal may be willing to accept less. A personal injury lawyer can explain what you can expect in terms of fair compensation for your pain and suffering so that you can make an informed decision.
Talk to Personal Injury Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles Today
At The Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, the decision to settle is always yours. To discuss your case and your options, call us today at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.