The damages associated with a car accident can be immense. Sure, you’ll have financial damage related to your vehicle, but you’ll also probably be hit with enormous medical bills that far surpass what your insurance will pay, and your inability to work will leave you without the income that you rely upon.
As if that’s not enough, you’ll have to find a way to cope with your newfound physical pain and limitations, and all of this can take an enormous mental toll.
A personal injury lawsuit might help you alleviate some of these burdens, and the truth of the matter is that many of these cases end up settling before going to trial. But as you prepare to enter the legal arena, you should take care that you don’t move so quickly that you leave money on the table. This happens far too often when accident victims seek to quickly resolve their case so that they can get some money and move on with their lives.
How do you know if a settlement is right for you?
It’s going to depend on the facts at hand, but there are some considerations that you should take into account. This includes each of the following:
- The value of your claim: You’re not going to be able to measure the appropriateness of a settlement offer if you don’t know what you’re claim is worth. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down and figure out exactly how much damage has been caused to you. You’ll want to be comprehensive here so that you can justify what you’re asking for during negotiations, so don’t cut yourself short. Once you have a number calculated, you’ll be in a better position to argue for what you deserve.
- Your evidence: The stronger your case, the better you’ll be able to leverage it to get what you want out of your settlement. If you’re case is weaker, though, then you’ll need to be more willing to compromise.
- The evidence against you: Washington recognizes comparative fault, meaning that your ultimate recovery can be reduced by the amount of fault that’s allocated to you. So, if the defendant can show that you’re partially to blame for the accident, then there’s some risk with taking your case to trial. You’ll need to come up with a realistic determination of how much you contributed to the accident so that you can better determine if a settlement offer is in line with what you can expect if you were to take your case to trial.
- What you’re willing to deal with: We recognize that there’s a time component to these sorts of cases. You need money sooner rather than later, and taking your case to trial forces you to find a way to make ends meet until your case resolves. That’s a driving factor for many settlements, and it may be for you, too. So, carefully think through how long you’re willing to wait to obtain the compensation that you need.
Craft the legal strategy that’s best for you
There’s a lot that goes into a personal injury lawsuit. If you want to maximize your ability to recover the compensation that you deserve, then you need to enter your case as fully prepared as possible.