You’ve been injured in a car accident and are struggling to get by. The physical pain is overwhelming, and the financial toll is enormous. All of this may be causing damage to your mental wellbeing, leaving you uncertain and fearful of your future. Although you may know that a personal injury lawsuit can help you alleviate your financial burdens and assist you in obtaining the medical care that you need, at some point you might find yourself asking if a settlement on your claim is appropriate. In these instances, you should ask an attorney first.
Questions to ask before settling
In some cases, a settlement might be proper. But in a lot of cases, an initial offer is far too low. Therefore, before settling your case, you should ask your attorney each of the following:
- What’s my case worth? You have to know the value of your claim before you can accurately determine whether a settlement is appropriate. This means you’ll need to analyze your incurred and expected medical costs, your lost wages and lost earnings capacity, and your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. These calculations may be more difficult than you think, which is why you need to be diligent in building your evidence in this area.
- How strong is my case? Here, you’ll simply need to look at the evidence to consider whether it meets the evidentiary requirements to clear the burden of proof. What evidence exists that the defendant acted negligently? What evidence do you have to show the full extent of your harm? If your evidence is solid and supported by lay and expert witnesses and well as documentation, then you’ll be in a better position to push for a larger settlement or simply take your case to trial.
- What are the weaknesses of my case? Keep in mind that Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, then your ultimate recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. This is where a lot of the risk comes into moving forward with your personal injury case. Assess your driving at the time leading up to your accident and consider how effectively you can combat any allegations of contributory fault.
- How stressful is the process? Some people just want a quick recovery of money so that they can move on with life. If you’re in that situation, then a settlement might be right for you. But if you’re willing to deal with the time and stress involved with litigating your case, then you may want to hold out on a settlement to see if you can get a better offer or a larger recovery at trial. Just know that the process can take a while, and you may be subjected to the full breadth of the legal process, from deposition to jury selection and cross-examination on the witness stand.
Fight for the outcome that you deserve
There’s a lot to take into account when moving forward with a personal injury claim. But regardless of the path that you take, you need to be prepared to fight for a just outcome. This means fully analyzing the evidence and aggressively applying the law to the facts in a way that is favorable to your position.
We know that can sound daunting, especially as you’re just trying to focus on your recovery, but that’s why legal teams like ours are here to help. By putting in the work needed on the front end of our case, hopefully you can find accountability and recover what you need to secure stability and reclaim your health as much as possible.