A lot of people who are injured in a truck accident simply want to heal from their injuries, reclaim their normal life, and move on as quickly as possible. That’s completely understandable. But as you may be realizing, the process isn’t easy. Merely figuring out how to get around after your car was totaled in an accident can be challenging, let alone coordinating expensive medical treatment and finding a way to make ends meet when you’re unable to work and earn a wage.
Fortunately, you might be able to speed your recover and make it more manageable by successfully pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. While you may be envisioning a courtroom where your attorney goes toe-to-toe with the defense, the truth is that most personal injury cases settle before going to trial. This means that there’s a pretty good chance that in the near future you’re going to be offered a settlement, if you haven’t already, from the trucker who harmed you and his or her employer. But should you take that settlement?
Analyzing a settlement offer
It can be tempting to seize a settlement offer and move on with your life. But we want you to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your personal injury claim. Therefore, before signing off on a settlement agreement, consider the following:
- What are your damages? The only way to truly know if a settlement offer is appropriate is to know the value of your claim. Calculate your incurred medical expenses and lost wages, but also try to figure your anticipated losses. You’ll also want to try to put a price on your noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, which can be tough to do. But carefully think about how your injuries have affected your enjoyment of life and how difficult it has been to cope with the physical and emotional pain forced upon you. Once you have this figure, you can better assess just how closely the settlement offer is to the full extent of your damages.
- What does the evidence say? Many personal injury cases settle because the evidence isn’t entirely clear, meaning that settlement is a way for both sides to reach a fair outcome while minimizing risks. But the evidence in your case might be strong enough to warrant going to trial. Maybe it doesn’t. Just remember that your recovery will be reduced by the amount of fault that is assigned to you, and you might be denied a recovery altogether if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault.
- How have juries viewed similar cases? No two cases are exactly the same, but there are oftentimes similarities amongst them. Therefore, you might be able to better gauge your chances of success at trial by looking at how similar cases turned out. Just realize, though, that juries can be unpredictable.
- What do you need right now? Some truck accident victims are struggling to put food on the table and keep the lights on. Others are forced to turn to credit cards to pay their medical bills. Really think about the challenges that you’re facing today and ask yourself if you’re willing to continue to face them pending trial. Maybe you are, and maybe the settlement offer is so low that you’re justified in taking your case to trial. But if you need quick relief and the settlement offer is pretty close to the full extent of your damages, then you may want to more carefully consider taking the offer.
Do you need guidance and advocacy?
If so, then now may be the time to turn to an experienced legal professional who can help you navigate the intricacies of your case while protecting your interests. A skilled legal professional will prepare your case so that it is ready to be litigated, which will better position you for successful negotiation. So, if you’d like to learn more about what our firm offers in way of guidance and advocacy, please continue to browse our website.