Should You Settle or Litigate

Should You Settle or Litigate Your Car Accident Claim?

When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s normal to be scared of what comes next. As the expenses start to add up, you may be concerned about how you’re going to make ends meet, get your vehicle fixed, and cover your medical bills. There are two main ways to recover compensation for a car accident: a settlement or a court award. These two options are different in a number of critical ways, and it’s important to know what the best option is for your case.

The team at Kingbird Legal can help. Call us at 484-289-4880 to set up a consultation with our team of personal injury attorneys.

Considerations When a Settlement is on the Table

First, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority of car accident claims are settled out of court. Why? It’s often the more convenient and less risky option for everyone involved. Settlements are less time-consuming and generally don’t require that you even see the inside of a courtroom. The insurance company can minimize their losses since punitive damages are only on the table during a court case. The victim can prevent putting substantial time and effort into a court case, only to leave with nothing.

Before you accept a settlement, make sure you know what you are giving up. You’ll sign a waiver giving up your right to sue the at-fault party for your current injuries, as well as any other injuries arising from the same incident in the future. You should have a fairly good understanding of the actual financial costs of your accident before you accept a settlement.

Factors to Think About for Litigation

Litigation is generally a last resort in a car accident claim. It’s often a better use of both parties’ time if a settlement can be reached. But if the insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that actually fairly compensates you, your attorney may need to make the choice to walk away. They will then move forward with a lawsuit.

Lawsuits are considerably more risky than settlements. When you go to court, the best possible outcome is a massive court award that is far higher than you could ever receive in a settlement. This is especially true if your case qualifies for punitive damages. But on the other hand, the worst possible outcome leaves you with absolutely nothing—and that means you’re left covering those expenses on your own.

Making the Best Decision for Your Case

This is where it’s incredibly important to have an experienced West Chester personal injury lawyer. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to look at your case, determine the risks involved, and know your likelihood of success. They will also know how likely you are to succeed in court and whether or not going to court is worth the risk. You do not want to make these judgment calls on your own—remember, insurance companies spend a substantial amount of money on saving money and limiting their payouts. You need an attorney who can fight back against that.

Another important factor to think about during this process is how much risk you can handle. If you’re in serious financial jeopardy because of the accident, it may be worth it to you to take a smaller settlement than you might receive in court, because it allows you to pay off your accident-related expenses and get caught up. Those who are able to tolerate a lot of risk may be alright taking their case to court and accepting the risk that they may end up with nothing when all is said and done.

Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, though. Until you’ve met with a car accident lawyer and gotten their input on your case, it doesn’t make sense to worry too much about pursuing a settlement vs. a verdict.

Get the Support You Need with Kingbird Legal

When you’re ready to learn more about your legal options after a Washington DC car accident, the team at Kingbird Legal is here to help. Let’s sit down and talk about your options and next steps. Just call us at 484-289-4880 or reach out online to schedule a consultation right away.

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