When involved in an auto accident that results in injuries, pursuing compensation becomes paramount. However, you face an important decision: whether to settle or litigate your claim. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding them can help you make an informed decision.
Whether you choose to settle or litigate your claim, our office can help provide you with legal expertise throughout every step of your claim. Whether that is guidance on settlement, litigation, or how to handle the insurance companies, we are here for you.
Settling an Auto Accident Claim:
Time and Cost Efficiency – Settling an auto accident claim is often faster and less expensive than going to court. Negotiating a settlement
can save you from prolonged legal battles, reducing stress, and allowing you to move forward with your life.
Guaranteed Compensation – Settling ensures you receive compensation, as both parties agree on a predetermined amount. This financial security can provide peace of mind, especially if you’re facing immediate medical bills or lost wages.
Privacy – Settling an auto accident claim allows you to maintain privacy, as court proceedings are public. By avoiding the courtroom, you can protect sensitive personal information from becoming public record.
Potential Undervaluation – Insurance companies may attempt to settle for less than the full value of your claim. Without proper legal representation, you might miss out on potential compensation, leaving you at a financial disadvantage in the long run.
Releases Liable Party – Once you agree to a settlement, you typically waive your right to pursue further legal action. If your injuries worsen or additional expenses arise, you won’t be able to seek additional compensation through the legal system.
Litigating an Auto Accident Claim:
Potential for Higher Compensation – By litigating your claim, you have the opportunity to present your case to a judge or jury who can award you higher compensation if they find in your favor. This can be particularly beneficial if your injuries are severe or result in long-term consequences.
Discovery Process – Litigation allows for a comprehensive investigation of the accident, which may include collecting evidence, depositions, and expert testimonies. This process can uncover critical information that supports your claim and strengthens your position.
Claims Deadlines – Each state and accident can have a different statute of limitations or time allotted to present a claim. Through the litigation process, we can help you navigate and possibly extend your claim.
Time-Consuming and Expensive – Lawsuits can be lengthy, often taking months or even years to reach a resolution. The costs associated with litigation, such as attorney fees, court fees, and expert witness fees, can quickly accumulate.
Uncertain Outcome – The outcome of a lawsuit is unpredictable, as it relies on the interpretation of the law and the opinions of the judge or jury. Despite having a strong case, there is always a degree of uncertainty when going to court.
Emotional Toll – Litigation can be emotionally taxing, requiring you to relive the accident and endure the stress of legal proceedings. This can take a toll on your mental well-being and overall recovery.
Choosing between settling and litigating an auto accident claim with injuries is a decision that should be carefully considered. Settling offers efficiency, certainty, and privacy, while litigation provides the potential for higher compensation and further discovery. Assessing your priorities, the extent of your injuries, and the specific circumstances surrounding your case can help you make an informed choice. Remember, consulting with a qualified attorney, like Jeff Metler, is crucial to understanding the best course of action and protecting your rights.