Suppose you sustained injuries in an auto accident in Atlanta due to another party’s negligence. In that case, you have the right to file a personal injury claim and achieve compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages. Victims choose between settling and going to trial. Car accident lawyers in Atlanta can help you choose the best one for your unique claim. Read on to learn the pros and cons of settling or going for a trial so you choose one confidently.
Settlement in a Car Accident Case
Settlement is the formal resolution of a car accident case without going to court. The car accident victim’s lawyer typically sends a demand letter to the at-fault party, their lawyer, or insurance company stating the damages sought. When you settle, the defendant pays the agreed amount, and you can’t pursue further compensation.
Pros of Settling
- Faster –typically takes a few days or weeks, and victims receive compensation promptly, helping with hefty medical bills and other expenses.
- Cost-efficient –you don’t incur huge court and legal costs.
- Less stress -Settling does not require the victims to go to court, which may add undue stress to their injuries. Since trials are notoriously unpredictable, victims don’t have to worry about the probability of not receiving compensation.
- You can accept, decline, or renegotiate an offer
- Primarily private, and parties determine the info that goes public or remains private.
- Saves time and effort as the case settles quickly
Cons of Settling
- There’s a chance of better compensation in court
- Settlements are irreversible; once you accept an offer, you can’t renegotiate, even when injuries worsen, or new ones resurface
Going on the Trail
Going to trial in Atlanta means that the injured party and the at-fault party present their claims before a judge or jury who establishes liability. If the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury, they should compensate them accordingly. Most personal injury cases settle outside court, with only 4-5% getting to trial.
Pros of Going to Trial
- More potential for attaining greater compensation for injuries and non-economic damages like emotional turmoil
- Attain a sense of legal justice when the court declares the defendant guilty and liable for the accident. Many car accident victims find such closure invaluable.
Cons of Going to Court
- Lengthy process –it may take years to get a fair settlement, from the case filing to receiving compensation and appeals. Cases with numerous witnesses, complex evidence, and severe injuries take longer to resolve.
- Stressful –preparing for a trial is cumbersome for both the victim and the attorney and cross-examinations are draining
- Unpredictable –there’s no guarantee a jury will offer more significant compensation
- Costly -travel, lost work, and court and contingency fees may reduce the total settlement
- Most personal injury cases are publicized, a huge turnoff for people who like to keep their lives private
Which is the Best Approach?
Since every car accident case is unique, there’s no right or wrong approach. Car accident settlements are more prominent because they are faster, cost-efficient, less stressful, and predictable. They are suitable for straightforward car accident cases and victims avoiding trial risks.
However, a trial may be necessary when the defendant is uncooperative, or you stand to gain more compensation in court than the insurance company is offering. Most insurance companies make money by paying out the least possible compensation. Also, a trial is handy when the two parties cannot agree on who was at fault.
Deciding between settlement or trial is crucial, making hiring a car accident lawyer important. The lawyer uses their legal expertise and resources to evaluate your case to determine whether settling or going to court is best for maximum compensation.