If you’re injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault, you could receive compensation to cover expenses like medical bills, lost earnings, and property damage. While most car accident cases are settled out of court, sometimes cases need to go to trial in order to be resolved.
So, in the event of a car accident, should you settle or go to court? Let’s explore the options in more detail.
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Get Expert Advice from Your Attorney
The answer as to whether you should settle or go to trial is actually best answered by your attorney.
You’ll need an experienced and skillful car accident lawyer, such as an attorney from the Levin Firm, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, to help you obtain compensation. So, always listen to your lawyer’s expert advice.
Typically, if you’re offered a fair settlement, it’s best to settle. Your attorney will be able to inform you as to whether the settlement offer is fair or not.
On the other hand, if the insurance company refuses to pay a fair amount, you should consider going to trial. Again, your lawyer will be able to give you sound advice. However, there are pros and cons to both options.
Pros of Settling
A car accident case settlement refers to when you accept an insurance company’s offer outside of court. A settlement can be reached at any point during the litigation of your case. Most often, cases are resolved before your lawyer needs to file a formal lawsuit.
One of the main advantages of settling outside of court is that settlements are much quicker than trials. You can usually settle a car accident case within six months to a year, which can be very helpful if you need cash to cover immediate expenses like medical bills. After all, you don’t want to get into medical debt.
Furthermore, settlements are less stressful and more cost-efficient than going to trial. Also, you can always accept or decline settlement offers, and with a good attorney on board, he or she can negotiate for a better deal.
Cons of Settling
The main drawback of settling out of court is you could always potentially receive a higher settlement by going to trial. Also, you cannot negotiate for a better deal once you accept an offer.
Again, your attorney will be able to advise you as to whether the potential financial gain you could receive from a trial is worth pursuing. Making the best decision often comes down to the precise circumstances of your car accident case.
Pros of a Trial
If you go to trial, your attorney and the insurance company will present their car accident cases in front of a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then determine whether the defendant is liable to pay damages.
When you go to court, it could also be helpful to hire a court reporter who can keep meticulous records during the trial.
The biggest advantage of going to trial is that you could receive more financial compensation than you would via a settlement. You could also receive compensation for noneconomic damages.
Cons of a Trial
Trials typically take long times to reach a conclusion, unlike settlements; which usually take no longer than a year.
Many trials go on for longer than a year, which can be frustrating if you need money to cover things like medical expenses.
Furthermore, you need to bear in mind that a court settlement involves deducting costs for court fees and attorney fees. That means you could potentially receive the same amount as the insurance company’s highest out-of-court settlement offer once deductions have been taken off.
Worse still, there is always a chance that you could lose the court car accident case at trial.
Most often, it’s better to settle out of court than go to trial, but as we have seen, there are pros and cons to each route.