When to Go to Trial and When to Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit
Most auto accident lawyers strongly suggest you do not accept any settlement offers from an insurance company after a car accident until a full economic projection of your future costs can be made. You should also limit your conversations with insurers so as not to misstate matters of fault. Insurance companies are adept at leveraging information that can be to the disadvantage of claimants. While it makes sense to engage an attorney in serious car accident cases, this does not necessarily mean you should go to trial. In fact, about 95 percent of cases never do actually go before a judge – and sometimes a settlementwill be reached in the middle of the trial. The use of an attorney accomplishes several things:
- It prevents you from making mistakes in what you say and what you settle for with your insurer.
- You get the help of experts, in particular an economist who can predict the future costs of your injuries (medical and therapeutic care, as well as the effects on your ability to earn a living and the future costs of housing, food and other expenses).
- It sends a message to your insurer that you are serious about your case.
In many cases, when to settle sometimes boils down to the individual, their needs and their life situation. If the plaintiff absolutely needs money sooner rather than later –perhaps they are living with a terminal illness – an earlier settlement might make sense. If you have been in an accident that involves serious injuries, death or expenses, contact a knowledgeable attorney right away.