When you are injured in an accident due to somebody else, you can get compensation. Typically, there’s two ways to receive compensation from the party who is at-fault for the accident. You can be offered a personal injury settlement, and accept it without going to court, or you can go through the court—implementing and starting a civil lawsuit, though civil lawsuits often settle before they actually go to trial.
A lawsuit may help you to receive more money than settling outright, but often lawsuits make it no further than the start—it’s usually easier to settle without the court being involved. If you’re injured in an accident and are trying to receive a personal injury settlement, reach out to a personal injury lawyer. An experienced lawyer is going to be able to help you to make the best choice in regards to your settlement and your injury.
Understanding What Personal Injury Settlements Are
A settlement will occur when an insurance adjuster, or defendant (usually this is the person or the company you are suing) makes an offer to pay you for your injuries.
This may happen before a personal lawsuit has been filed, but after the first potential claim was filed. This may go to court, and a settlement may be offered after a court case is filed and the trial has begun. Typically, a settlement will still be offered as long as no verdict has been reached in court. Some settlements may happen after trial, when the jury is talking about it. The parties involved may decide they want the promise of a settlement.
When a settlement is reached, the plaintiff will stop all claims against the defendant whether these claims arose from the accident or something separate. The plaintiff must sign a liability release.
What is a Liability Release?
This document resolves the parties involved in the settlement’s differences. It dismisses their claims and releases the opposing party from liability. It may also be called a liability waiver form. This makes the opposing party, who was at fault in the accident, free of liability and obligation to pay for the damages that were associated with the accident. Insurance companies ask that this is signed before they make payments.
This form will claim details of your accident, your claims, identification of the other people involved, payments and the law that governs it.
Why Do Personal Injury Cases Tend to Settle?
The simple fact of the matter is, so many personal injury cases settle rather than proceed to court. But why is that a fact?
A settlement means the defendant controls the risks and they avoid legal cost. If the defendant is, without a doubt at fault, or the fault is cloudy but the plaintiff is extremely injured, it doesn’t help the defendant to go before a sympathetic jury that might hand out a large reward to the plaintiff.
Furthermore, a settlement lets the defendant keep the case out of the public eye. This is especially beneficial for large companies with public profiles. Like, if a defective product injures someone, the company won’t want that going public. Not only this, but trials can go on for months, and a settlement is a win-win for the plaintiff, as they won’t have to sit through court either.