There’s no doubt that a car or truck accident can leave you facing a hard road ahead. The emotional and physical pain and suffering alone is enough to cause a lot of car accident victims to lose hope, and the financial realities of lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost earnings capacity leave them feeling completely overwhelmed.
A personal injury lawsuit can certainly help alleviate some of these damages, and you might be offered a quick settlement that might be tempting to take. Before you accept a settlement offer, though, you really need to consider whether doing so is in your best interests. After all, you don’t want to be taken advantage of by a process meant to make you whole.
Determining whether a settlement offer is right for you
There are a number of factors that you should take into account before deciding on a settlement offer. Here are some of the most relevant:
- The value of your case: It’s impossible to accurately gauge the appropriateness of a settlement offer without a clear understanding of what your claim is actually worth. Therefore, you should diligently calculate your economic losses by looking at your current wages in light of work missed, the anticipated time you expect to be out of work, and how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a living into the future. You should also consider your incurred medical expenses as well as your prognosis and anticipated treatment. Your non-economic losses, like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, can be extraordinarily valuable, too. So, think carefully about how you can portray the impact your injuries have had on your daily life.
- The strength of your case: Next, you’ll want to turn to the evidence at hand and analyze it in light of the law. Think about whether there’s clear evidence that the driver who caused the accident is at fault, and take additional action, such as by speaking to witnesses and experts, as well as considering an accident reconstruction, if the implication of fault isn’t immediately clear. You’ll also want to think about how easy it’ll be for you to prove the full extent of your damages.
- Your case’s weaknesses: In most personal injury cases, the defense argues that the plaintiff is at least partially at fault for the accident in question. This is because Georgia law recognizes comparative fault, which means that a plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to him or her, and his or her claim can be denied altogether if he or she is found to be 50% or more at fault. Therefore, you’ll want to be prepared to defend your driving actions and consider how any errors on your part could affect your case at trial.
- Your immediate and long-term needs: A settlement can offer you quick relief in a time of need while also closing a tough chapter in your life. If your immediate needs require this kind of quick resolution, then a settlement might be right for you. If, on the other hand, you think you have a strong case and you can wait to find relief until after your trial, then your long-term interests may be better served by taking your case to litigation.
Take a custom-tailored approach to your personal injury case
There’s a lot at stake in your personal injury case, and only you can decide the best legal strategy for protecting your interests. However, you can find guidance and secure advice in these matters from a personal injury attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. If you think that you could benefit from that kind of assistance, then we encourage you to continue to research personal injury lawsuits and how an attorney may be helpful to your claim.