Should I settle my car accident case or take it to court?

It depends on several factors, but it is our firm belief that you ultimately make the final decision. Assuming the negligent driver’s insurance company has made an offer to settle, the first logical question is how much do you expect for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Your pain is real, and so is your suffering, so the fair value must be tailored to you as an individual person. That said, it is important to select an experienced and aggressive car accident attorney to move your case forward, and keep you updated in the process. In most cases, there are outstanding medical expenses and attorney bills that must be factored into the equation. But what matters the most is how much you, as the client, are able to put into your pocket after all expenses are deducted. Therefore, it is important to obtain an amount that you would put in pocket before a suit is filed, that way you can compare it with what a suit is estimated to yield. This is where your attorney may be very helpful to you because they can provide you with both out of court and in court estimates based on previous experience as well as the courts trends and tendencies. Once the pre-suit estimate is determined; you may then decide whether you feel it is actually worth your time to file the lawsuit against the negligent driver, or accept the funds. In addition to the difference in value based on suit verses pre-suit settlement; it is important to consider the court’s scheduling for trial dates when deciding whether or not to settle. Due to the volume of cases the Court handles, it could be weeks before your case is scheduled, and months before it is actually heard. In most cases, your lawyer may send you a copy of the court summons once the court date has been scheduled. Don’t hesitate to call your lawyer anytime you have questions or concerns regarding the scheduling of your car accident case. Lastly, there are times when you may not want to accept an offer to settle on “sheer principle”. If this is the case, you should discuss the matter with your attorney to decide if this is the route you wish to take.

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