What is a Settlement?
Most of the time, when someone is injured, he assumes he will need to go to court to receive just compensation for his harm. But this is not always the case. Frequently the plaintiff’s (injured person) attorneys are able to work out a settlement with the insurance company or attorneys for the other side.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement means that both sides are able to agree about what a case is worth, in other words, how much money the plaintiff should receive from the defendant. The lawyer for the injured person talks with the lawyer or insurance company for the defendant(s) and they negotiate a financial agreement that is acceptable to everyone involved in the case.
How Common are Settlements?
Settlements are actually very common. Trials are extremely expensive and time consuming. As a result, there is a strong incentive on the part of all parties to settle the case. Actually, some injury attorneys are perhaps a little too willing to settle. That is why it is important to find a plaintiff injury attorney who is willing to take your case to court when it is necessary.
When Do Cases Settle?
Cases can settle at any point during the personal injury lawsuit timeline. It is, however, not uncommon for a case to settle on what we call the courthouse steps, meaning the defendant waits until the last possible moment before trial to offer a reasonable settlement. Again, that is why it is important for the defendant’s attorney to know that a lawyer is serious about taking a case to trial.
What Happens when a Case Settles?
When a case settles, all involved parties sign a document agreeing that the case is over and that the plaintiff will seek no further compensation from the defendant. In a case with more than one plaintiff or more than one defendant, there might be several settlements. Sometimes a case might continue to trial against one defendant but not another.
Should you Accept a Settlement?
If you are injured and are quickly offered a settlement, you should probably not accept it. If the defendant is willing to offer a settlement so quickly, chances are good that a strong personal injury attorney will be able to obtain a better settlement for you. In addition, sometimes the defendant’s insurance company or lawyers are simply not willing to offer a fair settlement, and so a case needs to go to trial.
If you have been injured and are being offered a settlement for your injury, contact the Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams. We will review the offer with you and help you determine if it is fair, or if you should be more aggressive in your requests.