Victims of motor vehicle accidents need compensation and closure. The compensation can help them secure the medical treatment they need while at the same time offsetting lost wages and addressing pain and suffering. Closure can help a victim move on with life so that they can devote their attention to their recovery. These two factors drive a lot of car accident victims to settle their cases. It’s true that most of these cases settle without trial, but before accepting a settlement offer that is pushed your way you have to ask yourself if that offer is in your best interests.
Analyzing a settlement offer
There are a number of things to look at when analyzing your settlement offer. Each one requires careful consideration so that you can make the decision that is right for you. Here are some of the factors to think about:
- The strength of your case: Here, you’ll want to look at the evidence supporting a showing of negligence and causation and determine how likely the defense is to successfully rebut it. As such, you need an understanding of the law and how the facts at hand can be crafted into compelling legal arguments that speak to the law. You’ll also want to consider any potential arguments that could raise questions as to your allocation of fault in the accident.
- The value of your damages: Before you can say whether a settlement offer is appropriate you have to know what your case is worth. Try to get accurate calculations of your lost and expected lost wages and incurred and expected medical expenses. Also try to put a figure on your noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Then, in light of the strength of your case, you can determine whether there’s enough financial incentive to take your case to trial.
- How similar cases turned out: Cases with similar facts can be indicative of how your case might turn out. This can help guide your decision as to whether you should accept a settlement offer.
- Your desire to litigate: There’s no doubt that litigation can take a long time and become enormously stressful. You’ll have to carefully assess whether the financial benefits not only outweigh the risks, but also the time and health consequences.
Choose a course that is right for you
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these personal injury cases. Instead, your case needs an individualized assessment so that you can best position yourself for the outcome you want. An attorney might be able to help you do just that.