In the aftermath of a car accident, what you should do afterwards isn’t just a two-way street, it’s a collection of many winding roads with several twists and turns. It’s a personal injury lawyer that navigates those turns and helps you arrive at your destination in any personal injury case, and gets you justice and compensation for your injuries suffered and damages taken.
Should You Take a Settlement Offer?
While your attorney does do most of the work, there’s still a level of effort that you need to put into the case and for a certain point in the case, when you arrive at certain turnpoints you’ll have to make a decision on which direction to go next yourself. One of these significant decisions is whether to take a settlement which has been deemed the maximum attainable in this stage, or move forward with filing a car accident lawsuit.
Moving Forward with a Lawsuit
The process of conducting a lawsuit is different and lengthier, but in the end there’s potential to gain more from your case. Here’s a few reasons why you might want to move forward with a lawsuit:
You’ve undergone significant medical treatment: Whether it’s a surgery or a lengthy hospitalization, if you’ve undergone complex treatments and racked up exorbitant bills as a result it’s unclear whether or not the settlement you’re being offered is going to cover your medical expenses or wages lost for all that time being out of work during and after the treatment. By filing a claim through an insurance company there’s only so much you’ll gain in return because of policy limits. Your lawyer will do everything in their power to get the compensation close to the limit, but the adjuster will never go over.
Your attorney thinks you deserve more: Your lawyer, having undergone years and years of training has the knowledge of what a case is worth. If certain conditions have been met and your lawyer thinks you can get more, you should probably take their advice. A reason your lawyer might want to go to trial is to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are fines slapped on by the court to punish an individual for committing an action and discourage it from repeating. That said, punitive damages can be feasibly campaigned for when an act gross negligence is found. Gross negligence being a conscious, voluntary type of negligence that results in injury.
Your case is worth more than what is being offered: There are several types of “damages” one can campaign for in a case. Medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of affection or relationship, punitive damages and more. If your lawyer sees potential to gain more through claiming any of these damages in court, it’s up to you on whether you want to take the settlement that is being offered or more forward with a car accident lawsuit.