If you’ve been involved in a serious car accident–the kind
of accident where insurance companies get involved and you have a stack
of medical bills piling up–it might seem strange to hear your lawyer
talk about ‘settlement.’ A car accident settlement is often
the best way to resolve an auto accident lawsuit.
What is a Settlement?
“settlement” is a way to resolve a dispute without having a costly and drawn-out jury trial.
Lawyers on both sides of a dispute will investigate the accident and collect
the information they need to determine just how much ‘damage’
Each side will estimate how much they are likely to gain or lose in a jury
If the costs of trying the case by jury exceed the amount of the potential
judgement, it makes more sense for both parties to resolve the dispute
outside of the court system.
Why are Jury Trials so Expensive?
Car accident costs
“Estimating the Costs of Civil Litigation” Court Statistics Project
A civil trial is won or lost by a “preponderance of the evidence”
but collecting that evidence can prove costly.
Accidents may need to be recreated, legal briefs may need filing and witnesses
may need to be disposed.
At trial, you may want to hire a doctor to testify to your injuries. You
might also want a business professional to testify to what he wages you
may lose while injured or an automotive expert to testify to the safety
features of your vehicle. Those ‘expert witnesses’ often charge
a fee for the time they spend in the court room.
The table above provides a great way to think about all the different costs
associated with a trial. While there can be additional charges, you can
see how a jury trial can quickly become a $100,000+ endeavour.
How Valuable will my Car Accident Settlement Be?
It can be difficult to assign a value to a car accident settlement. A good
personal injury lawyer will meet with you for free, and evaluate just
what happened in your accident. He or she will also ask about the extent
of your injuries and if they are affecting your job.
Car accident settlement
“11 Factors that Determine the Value of…A Personal Injury
You can read more about the factors that influence the value of your case
at the presentation linked above.
However, it’s important to remember that a good personal injury attorney
should be able to discuss your car accident settlement with you
free of charge.