One reason why someone might be hesitant to file a claim for damages after an accident is the fear of a court trial. While civil trials do occur, it is more often the case that a settlement is reached between the plaintiff and the defendant. It is important for an injured person to know that they have this option on the table.
The settlement process in a Hanover County car accident case is not difficult to understand, but there are numerous factors that go into determining when to accept or reject an offer. A steadfast attorney can help you understand what is at stake and how to recover enough compensation for the injuries you suffered.
An attorney will likely have a better idea than a layperson of what a civil case might be worth and how a judge or jury might respond to it. In some places, the venue of the trial could be important. In a conservative venue where juries are not known to give out big awards, an early settlement might be preferable. In a venue that has a history of juries being sympathetic to the plaintiffs, going to trial may be advantageous. It is helpful to have an attorney who has enough litigation experience to recognize which venue might be to their advantage or disadvantage.
When going into a consultation with an attorney, a person should bring all available evidence that they have. This can include photos or video they took with their cell phone, as well as a car crash exchange form given to them by a police officer and any medical records. If they do not have their records with them, the lawyer can order it from the hospital. This evidence will be a crucial part of the settlement process in a local automobile accident claim.
The settlement process usually begins once the patient has completed their immediate medical treatment and the full scope of compensable damages is known. The plaintiff’s legal counsel can send a demand package to the defendant’s insurance company that would include what they believe the case to be worth, backed up with medical records and lost wages. If the defense team believes they are unlikely to win a trial, they could agree to a settlement. If they do not agree to it, then the plaintiff can file a lawsuit.
In the next phase, the two sides take depositions and exchange interrogatories to learn more about the evidence available. With more information at hand, one side or the other may offer to settle. If nothing is agreed to, the claim goes to court where either a judge or jury will decide if damages are to be awarded. Even after a trial has started, the two sides can reach a settlement.
One of the issues that a person injured in a Hanover County motor vehicle accident might encounter in the settlement process is not being taken seriously at certain points. Insurance companies and defense attorneys might try to take advantage of a person who does not know the laws and try to minimize the amount of recovery. That is why it is wise for someone to retain the services of a lawyer who knows the system and could persuade the defense counsel that they stand to lose even more money if they do not take the settlement offer.
If you were injured in an automobile crash, you are probably looking for compensation to cover any medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and emotional trauma you sustained. Instead of going through a long trial that could keep getting delayed, you could agree to settle instead.
An attorney can help explain the settlement process in a Hanover County car accident case and keep you apprised of all developments. Call today to discuss your situation.