Settling a Virginia Beach Car Accident Case
Factors such as the extent of the injury, the amount an insurance company is offering, and the specific cause of the accident may impact your decision of whether to settle a Virginia Beach car accident case. Whether you are settling or going to trial, a well-versed car accident lawyer can guide you through the process and help you make sure you are making the decision that is right for you.
Options for Settling a Case
When an individual is involved in a car accident in Virginia Beach, they have several options to settle their case. The insurance company usually gives them an offer on a settlement, and the person has a choice to take the settlement or move forward with the lawsuit. If they decide to take the settlement, the case is over at that point.
When someone accepts a settlement offer in their case, they do not get any further money for pain, suffering, or medical bills. When one decides on settling a case, they get one lump sum. From that lump sum, various costs are paid like outstanding medical bills and attorney fees, and the individual receives the full remainder.
If a settlement amount is large enough, the person might consider a structured settlement. In this type of settlement, the person is paid over time. A structured settlement can be beneficial because it can help you secure your financial future, especially if you were severely injured.
Who Decides What to Do in a Car Accident Case?
The client is always the one who makes the final decision on whether to settle or go to trial. However, their lawyer is incredibly important in helping them make that decision because they work on these kinds of cases every day and can help determine whether it is a fair settlement. An experienced lawyer has the knowledge to recommend whether someone should settle the case or go to trial based on their injuries, their pain and suffering, the inconvenience, and the way their life was affected by the crash.
One reason to not take a settlement is when the insurance company is being unrealistic or offering an amount that is too low. For example, if the insurance adjusters did not properly evaluate the client’s medical bills, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and how their life was changed. Further, if the insurance company does not offer anything because they do not believe the accident was the other driver’s fault, the person should explore going to court and filing a lawsuit.
However, even if a person chooses to file a lawsuit rather than settling the case, the insurance company could make a decision to increase their settlement offer before the trial date. This means that, even when a lawsuit is filed, a case may settle before one actually goes in front of a judge or a jury.
Other Reasons to Not Settle a Claim in Virginia Beach
There are many other reasons someone might refuse to take a settlement offer and go to trial. When someone is seriously injured and their injuries will last for the rest of their life, the insurance company might make a reasonable settlement offer before a lawsuit is filed, but the client may still want to go to trial. Under those circumstances, a lawyer should be prepared to file the lawsuit and explain to the jury that the client is injured for the rest of their life and is no longer able to work.
Another common reason to refuse a settlement offer and go to trial is when there are special circumstances such as the other individual being under the influence. In Virginia, a person can recover punitive damages to punish a person who was driving under the influence in addition to the regular damages for pain and suffering and medical bills. However, the insurance company often does not recognize that. The injured party could have a reasonable settlement offer, but their attorney may encourage them to go to court to get punitive damages to punish the at-fault driver.
Ask an Attorney About Settling a Virginia Beach Car Accident Case
Determining to settle a Virginia Beach car accident case depends largely on the specific circumstances. For a free consultation to discuss your specific case, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today.