After An Accident: The Settlement Vs Judgement Question
When a careless driver causes injuries, you may be entitled to monetary damages. This form of monetary damages may be paid either by a settlement or by a court judgment. This issue may become important in your quest to be paid what you are owed by the at-fault driver's insurer. Know what to do by reading the information below.
Settlements Are Often Preferred
When you are paid a settlement, you agree to drop the case. In return, you are paid (almost) immediately. A settlement is often negotiated between you and your lawyer and the other side. The other side is comprised of the other driver, their insurer, and the insurer's lawyers. Judges and juries are not involved in settlements – the agreement is strictly between your side and the other side. With a personal injury lawyer to advise you, however, you are far more likely to be paid what you are owed when it comes to settlements. Here are some benefits of a settlement:
- Settlements are less stressful for the victim. Many have already endured pain and misery because of the accident and just want their lives back to normal again. A settlement means that your personal injury lawyer takes the burden of the case from you and works with the other side to get you paid for your damages.
- Settlements can be fast. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, a settlement may be ready in a few weeks after an accident. However, if you are badly hurt and may need additional medical treatment in the coming months, it's best to wait and learn more about your injury outcome before you agree to a settlement. However, settlements are almost always quite a bit quicker than taking your case to court.
Court Judgements Can Be More Valuable
When the parties are unable to agree on a settlement, they may sue the other side. If your lawyer is confident that you will prevail, a lawsuit may result in a higher monetary damage payment. That is because some juries add punitive damages to the other forms of damage. For instance, you may be asking to be paid for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Those are all common accident damages. However, some juries decide to send a message to the other driver by awarding huge sums of money as a form of punishment. Punitive damages may come when the case involves negligence, aggressive or reckless driving, distracted driving, or a large business.
Learn more by speaking to a car wreck lawyer.