How to Decide If You Should Settle Your Car Accident Case or Go to Trial

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If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and associated property damage. However, filing a personal injury claim doesn’t mean that your case will go to trial. Over 90% of car accident cases are settled out of court. Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

Advantages of Settling A Car Accident Claim

It’s common for an insurance adjuster to contact an injured victim shortly after the accident to offer a settlement. It may be tempting to accept this initial offer and put the matter behind you, but you should never settle a car accident claim until you know the full extent of your injuries. If you are still recovering from your injuries and don’t know how much time you’ll miss from work, rushing to accept a settlement puts you at risk of being left with an unfair financial burden. If your injuries turn out to be more serious than you initially believed, you’re not allowed to come back and ask for more money.

Once you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and have an understanding of what your case is worth, your attorney can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Key advantages to settling your car accident personal injury claim include:

The Resolution Is Final.

Once a settlement has been accepted by both parties, the issue has been resolved, and you’ll receive payment fairly quickly. If you go to court, the verdict can be appealed—which can take months or even years to resolve. If you are concerned about unpaid medical bills and other expenses, settling will alleviate your financial stress.

You Can Avoid The Unpredictability of a Trial 

Even though you may think you have a solid case, jury trials can be unpredictable. Going to trial doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive a higher recovery.

Settlements Are Private 

acts that come out in litigation are a matter of public record, but settlement negotiations are private. If you don’t want to testify and be cross-examined as part of a public record, this is a significant advantage to settling.

Court Is Expensive

Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they accept a percentage of your financial settlement as the cost for legal representation. However, there are other expenses associated with going to court that you must consider. The cost of subpoenaing expert witnesses, taking depositions, and working with multiple attorneys can significantly impact how much of a final recovery ends up in your pocket.

Court Is Time-Consuming

The actual trial may only take a few days, but there is a lot of preparation involved. If you don’t want to invest the time in a trial, settling may be the right call.

Whenever you receive a settlement offer, you should discuss the terms with your attorney. Only someone who is familiar with the unique circumstances of your case can help determine if settling is in your best interest.

Reasons to Consider Litigation

Sometimes going to trial is necessary to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation. This is often the case if the other side is not negotiating in good faith. You have a legal right to expect fairness and honesty in your negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When settlement offers are denied for no apparent reason and facts are being misrepresented, you may have no choice but to take legal action.

Litigation is also necessary when there are significant disputes over fault and liability. If the at-fault driver isn’t willing to accept responsibility for the accident, the issue will need to be decided in court. The effectiveness of litigation will depend on what evidence you can provide to prove fault such as expert testimony, photos, video, and vehicle damage reports.

Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


William S. Neblett
Attorney William Neblett practices personal injury, maritme, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse law.