A motor vehicle accident is a major disruption to your life. Your injuries and recovery may remove you from your routine, keep you from work and separate you from your family. When you begin to feel better, the last thing you may want is more disruption in the form of a lawsuit. However, you may have little choice if your medical bills are mounting.
You may be relieved to know that most civil claims do not go to trial. Instead, the parties are often able to arrive at a compromise. Nevertheless, before you decide to settle the case just to get it over with, you will want to consider several factors.
Weighing the pros and cons of settlement
If your injury resulted from the recklessness or negligence of someone else, you have every right to pursue the possibility of obtaining compensation. However, a trial can be lengthy and stressful, and a Connecticut jury still may not award an amount appropriate to your needs.
On the other hand, settling too quickly may result in receiving far less than your case is worth. An attorney or insurance agent for your opponent may try to convince you to accept a check before you have adequate time to evaluate what you need or what will be fair. Once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to take any further legal action in the matter. Discussing your situation with an attorney will allow you to thoroughly consider the following important factors:
- The compensation amount you might expect in a trial verdict
- Any challenges in presenting your case
- The strength of your evidence
- The strength of your opponent’s defense
- The least amount you are willing to accept in a settlement
- The ability of your opponent to pay a large settlement
You may also have other concerns, such as the amount of publicity a trial may garner or the revelation of personal or business secrets as they relate to the case. A settlement may allow you to avoid these invasions of privacy, and you may even be able to include terms that forbid the disclosure of certain details.
Your attorney will likely know opposing counsel and can advise you on your best options. You may prefer to take your chances at trial rather than to try to negotiate with someone who is not willing to compromise. Just as your opponent’s attorney is seeking the best resolution for his or her client, so your advocate will be looking out for your best interests.