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Will Your Car Accident Claim Settle?

Posted in Car Accidents,Car Insurance Claims on December 11, 2019

A question mark on a chalkboardIf you have an active car accident claim, you might be wondering if your case will settle. You are not alone, and a seasoned New Orleans car accident lawyer can examine the facts of your case in a consultation to help answer that question for you. Considering that about 95 percent of car accident cases do settle outside of court, chances are that yours will too, although there are no guarantees. Settlements depend on many different factors about your claim and the insurance company.

What is a Car Accident Claim Settlement?

When a car accident occurs and gives rise to a claim, it can end in one of two ways. Those that were injured or suffered property damage in the accident and the insurance company can agree on a settlement without using the legal system, or a lawsuit can be pursued in civil court. It is strongly recommended that anyone filing a car accident insurance claim obtain representation from a well-versed car accident attorney in New Orleans, whether they want to pursue a settlement or going to court.

Based on their knowledge and previous experience, lawyers know what your case should be worth. Without their input, you could end up settling your case for much less than you deserve. Your attorney can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company and their attorneys that is fair for you, and if not, they can pursue your claim through litigation in civil court.

Be aware that if you do agree to a settlement, you will be asked to sign an agreement stating that when you receive the compensation, you will not sue for the same accident in the future. This is referred to as an agreement with prejudice and protects the insurance company from being sued even though they agreed to settle the case with you.

Benefits of a Settlement in a Car Accident Case

One of the reasons that settlements are so prevalent in car accident cases is that there are so many benefits for both the accident victim and the insurance company when the case is settled outside of a courtroom. When you hire a car accident lawyer in New Orleans, your attorney can provide you with reasons as to why you should or shouldn’t settle in your case and how a settlement could benefit you. Reasons one or both sides might want to consider a settlement in a car accident claim include:

  • Quicker resolution of the case
  • The plaintiff can receive their compensation sooner
  • Less risk than taking the case before a judge or a jury
  • Avoids a potentially emotional trial for the plaintiff
  • Decreased legal expenses for both sides

Factors that Determine if a Settlement is Possible

When deciding to settle a claim after a car accident, there are several factors that both parties must consider to determine if it is in their best interest to settle and what amount they are willing to settle for. These factors include:

  • The severity of injuries: More severe Injuries will garner a higher settlement. Usually, soft tissue injuries like bruising or sprains settle for less than injuries such as broken bones, damage to the spinal cord or injuries that cause brain trauma, disfigurement, loss of mobility, or the permanent loss of a body part.
  • Disruptions: Injuries that inhibit the victim from performing day to day activities or working will usually be more likely to settle outside of court as these injuries are generally easier to prove.
  • Liability: If it is quite apparent that the defendant is liable for the alleged injuries of the plaintiff, a settlement is more likely. If the defense knows their degree of liability, they will be more motivated to avoid going to court. It is less risky for them to negotiate a settlement with you and your attorney than to leave the case up to a judge or a jury to decide.
  • Publicity: If a case has the potential to give a person or a company negative attention in the news or on social media, the possibility of a settlement grows. The bad press is too costly for the defendant to risk not settling.
  • Litigation expenses: The costs of a lawsuit can quickly add up for both the defendant and the plaintiff. If a case is already questionable for the defense, they will usually be more likely to settle to help cut down on the entire price tag of litigating the case.

The Settlement Process

After you hire a New Orleans car accident attorney, they can help you gather evidence to support your claim. This could include:

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Pictures of your vehicle
  • Photos from the scene of the accident
  • Witness testimony

Once this information is gathered, your attorney can draft a demand letter. This letter will explain your injuries and the damages that you should be entitled to recover. When the insurance company receives the demand letter, they will investigate your claim and decide if they want to accept or deny it. If they choose to accept it, they will make a settlement offer, and both sides can begin negotiating what they believe to be a fair settlement.

Sometimes a settlement happens quickly, and other times, it is a longer process. Some cases do not settle until right before they are scheduled for trial or even during a trial.

Settle Your Case with a Car Accident Attorney in New Orleans

To find out if a settlement might be a viable option in your car accident claim, schedule a consultation with an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney. One of our knowledgeable attorneys can review your case and come up with a plan to pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You could learn what your claim might be worth, whether it settles out of court or goes to trial.

Reach out to us to schedule your consultation today. Call (504) 500-5000 to reach the Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C., or use our convenient online contact form.