Surviving victims injured in a wrongful accident caused by another person’s negligence can recover compensation for their damages and losses one of two ways: out of court mutual negotiations or trial. Although many personal injury settlements are negotiated and settled outside of court, it is critical to a victim’s financial future and overall quality of life to retain experienced personal injury representation for their claim.
A seasoned Indiana accident attorney will aim to settle without a trial if a reasonable settlement can be reached but will remain ready and prepared to take a client’s case to court if necessary. If you are a recent victim of a wrongful accident and suffered injuries as a result, the settlement process will impact the outcome of your claim.
Continue reading to learn what you can expect during the process of settling a personal injury claim, plus how to ensure you obtain the maximum compensation for your case.
Personal Injury Settlements
A settlement takes place when a defendant’s insurance carrier and sometimes the defendant themself make an offer for compensation, and the victim or plaintiff accepts the offer. This often happens outside of court. In fact, some agreements are made before a lawsuit is even filed. If the victim has trouble receiving a fair offer, their lawyer may suggest taking the case to civil court.
Settlements can also be made after a case goes to trial, but before a final award or verdict is made. Other times, parties might become anxious during jury deliberations, and decide to settle before their verdict comes back. This is because some defendants would rather agree to a set settlement, rather than allowing a jury to decide the case.
Full Liability Releases
Once a settlement is agreed upon between both parties, the plaintiff must sign a full liability release form. This form lawfully relinquishes all potential claims against the defendant arising out of the accident or incident. This way, the plaintiff cannot file any further lawsuits for more compensation against the defendant later. For instance, in a slip and fall case, a store’s insurance company may offer a victim $25,000 to settle a case made against their insured, but to receive the payment, the victim must agree to not sue the store or to dismiss any lawsuit that has already been filed against the store.
Most Accident Cases Settle in the End
The reason why most personal injury cases settle is because both the plaintiff and the defendant want to mitigate and control their risks and avoid the significant legal costs that come with actually going to trial. Almost all personal injury cases involve insurance companies, who have the finances to pay out claims quickly.
If a claim goes to trial, the insurance company loses some control over how much they pay in recompense to a wrongfully injured victim, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and other legal expenses. Also, many insurance companies settle claims because they want to avoid the public eye for themselves and the defendant they insure. With so many social media platforms these days, it is easy for one incident to result in a company being publicly criticized for their negligence.
Are you a recent accident victim who was wrongly injured as a result of another person or company’s negligence? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to learn your rights to pursuing a personal injury claim in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned accident attorneys offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you. We represent injured persons and the family survivors in wrongful death cases throughout the state of Indiana.
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