In the legal world, a majority of civil claims, such as those resulting from traffic accidents, settle before a trial becomes necessary. Court dockets move notoriously slowly—in some cases, it is a few yearsbefore a claim is presented to a judge. For this reason, many attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals encourage the parties in a case to settle if they can. Settling a case saves the parties money and time, and it also allows them to determine how their case is finalized. But how do you know when it is the right time to settle?
Before proceeding with an accident claim, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with the legal requirements of traffic accident claims, such as motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and other similar incidents. These attorneys ensure that their clients’ legal rights are thoroughly protected throughout the claim.
Personal injury attorneys also confirm that any settlement offers presented to accident victims are fair and reasonable. Ultimately, it is the client’s decision whether or not to settle a case. However, accident attorneys explain the terms of any settlement proposals to these victims. Accident attorneys explain whether a settlement proposal covers all of the damages the victim is seeking, for example.
When is it the right time to settle? First, the victim, through his attorney, should be sure that all of the damages the victim is seeking in the case—such as medical expenses and lost wages—are adequately compensated in any proposals. In many cases, it can take a few months or longer to obtain all of the documentation that is needed to support a damages claim. Similarly, an accident victim may need to complete a course of treatment before settling the claim. Of course, if an accident victim needs medical care in the future, an estimate of this expense may be documented in the damages demand as well.
Additionally, the victim should ensure that he has reviewed all of the requested evidence from the at-fault driver. Generally, an accident victim requests a copy of the at-fault driver’s driving record, as well as any eyewitness statements. Sometimes, these documents point to additional fault or liability. Settling a claim too early would mean that the victim missed the chance to secure a clear finding of fault against the other driver.
Ultimately, settling a case may be appropriate so far as the parties have all of the information they need to make an informed decision on finalizing the case. With the assistance of a personal injury attorney, accident victims will know if they have enough evidence to settle an accident case.
If you have been involved in an accident, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC
At Stein & Shulman, LLC our skilled injury attorneys represent accident victims throughout the Chicago area. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, call (312) 422-0506 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.