Deciding Whether to Settle or Go To Trial In a Prince George’s County Car Accident Case

Making the decision to settle a case or have it go to trial is one that should only be made in the presence of an experienced attorney. There are many factors that can play into this decision, including how complex the case is, how much money can be put into it, and how much time the individual is looking to spend on a case.

Knowing whether or not to take a settlement or proceed to trial is not an easy one. Therefore, if you have recently been involved in a car accident, and are looking for advice on what to do next, it is crucial that you contact a Prince George’s County car accident lawyer immediately.

Settling a Case

Generally, a client, along with the recommendations of his or her attorney, will decide whether a case should be settled or if it should proceed to trial. There are always certain factors in each individual case which may influence a party to settle versus proceed to trial.

Those factors are dependent upon each individual case, and an attorney can work with the client through those issues and advise the client as to how the issues may play out if the case is not settled. The reasons depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and will be evaluated by the attorney to guide the client through the settlement process.

One of the main factors in refusing a settlement offer and proceeding to trial is that the settlement is not sufficient to properly compensate the injured person for his or her injuries. In that instance, it’s fairly straightforward that a lawsuit must be initiated. Generally speaking, there is no settlement process in Prince George’s County. Once the lawsuit is filed, there is usually no settlement discussions ordered by the court. Therefore, it’s up to the parties to negotiate the claim if at all possible.

Settlement Timeline

There is a necessary amount of time that must pass from when a settlement is reached until the distribution check is produced. The attorney can explain this process to the injured person so that the individual has a clear understanding as to what to expect, and when a claim may be resolved as compared to when the distribution of funds can be received. However, the process can be expedited to some degree. This all depends on the manner in which an insurance company issues its check, how that check is delivered, and the accounting that goes into the distribution of the check. Thus, these are accounting issues that simply take time to occur.

The timeliness of receiving a settlement depends upon the claim, the insurance company involved, and when the settlement check is cut. There is little to be done by the injured person once a settlement is reached.

Determining The Value of a Claim

The defense attorney will conduct his or her own evaluation of the claim and likely work with his or her insurance carrier to determine the range of value they believe the claim is worth. That figure will be communicated by the defense through the settlement offer. The attorney and the injured person work together in order to determine the appropriate range of value of the claim. This is a major factor in determining whether to settle a case or go to trial.

The settlement value is calculated based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case, the nature and extent of the injuries, the medical bills incurred, whether there are any permanent injuries, loss of life, scarring or loss of limb; all will go into evaluating the claim. The jury is not involved in the settlement whatsoever. Any issues present are for the client to evaluate and consider through the settlement process. The client should be aware of these issues well in advance of negotiating a settlement. Ultimately, the client must determine the risks associated with these issues and reach a decision as to the settlement.

All factors should be evaluated in considering a settlement; not only how the collision occurred, but also the nature and extent of injuries, the medical treatment, the prospect of future medical treatment along with any expenses that may be raised during the course of the trial which could bar the plaintiff from any recovery, should be evaluated in the settlement process. Many of these factors will help an attorney to determine whether or not to advise their client to settle, or go forward with a trial.

Typically, the manner in which the collision occurred does not affect the settlement amount. The settlement amount is primarily dependent upon the nature and extent of the injury sustained by the plaintiff.

Factors to Note

People should understand that the settlement process is not guaranteed in a Prince George’s County car accident case. Further, they should understand that once a settlement is reached, it will be some time before insurance pays any outstanding medical fees, and issues a separate settlement check to the injured person. Therefore, people should understand that simply because their claim is settled, it does not mean that a check is going to be presented within the next day or two following the settlement.

Benefits of an Attorney

When first meeting with a car accident lawyer, an injured person should bring any and all information in their possession regarding the collision with them, as well as any medical treatment rendered thus far. A qualified and experienced PG County litigation attorney can help the client evaluate the issues that are unique to his or her claim, and navigate these issues through the settlement process.

A qualified lawyer will be able to evaluate the claim and advise the client as to the appropriate value range based on the facts and circumstances of that individual case. Thus, without an attorney, the injured person will not have any basis to evaluate the settlement offer made by the defense. Only an attorney can aid an injured person in determining whether or not they should settle a case, or go to trial.