The vast majority of personal injury plaintiffs settle to save time and money, while reducing risk. It's easy for there to be hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs and defendants currently involved in personal injury cases across the country. In most cases, a settlement can cover your main expenses related to the accident, your legal fees, and some of the intangible losses you suffered. However, the value of your settlement offer depends in part on your lawyer's negotiating skill and the type of losses you can demonstrate through evidence.
The vast majority of personal injury compensation claims are resolved before going to trial. Your lawyer can begin negotiations to reach an agreement immediately after the initial discovery. While attorneys for both parties can discuss the agreement informally, they can also formally process the mediation or arbitration process. Settlements are almost always offered when insurance companies participate, which is the case in the vast majority of personal injury cases.
The point is that delays do happen and can take much longer than expected, but it's important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer and not settle for less than you deserve. The settlement occurs when an insurance adjuster or a defendant (the person or company you are suing) makes an offer to pay you, the injured person. While a lawsuit could ultimately make you more money than a settlement, the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved long before trial and often even before a lawsuit is filed. Some personal injury lawsuits, such as a slip and fall or rear-end collision, are relatively straightforward.
Settling your personal injury case out of court is almost always the fastest way to get the compensation you deserve. Insurers are also risk-averse and don't want to put their financial fate in the hands of an unpredictable jury while paying for the non-negligible costs of litigating a personal injury case throughout the trial. A very common mistake about personal injury lawsuits is that they take years to process or that you will receive an immediate offer to have your case dismissed. When choosing a personal injury lawyer, you want an attorney who can negotiate the maximum settlement and who is ready to take your case to trial if the other party doesn't agree with what you deserve.
To get the best possible deal in negotiations, you'll need a qualified personal injury lawyer who has intelligent negotiation skills and the determination necessary to defend you during a personal injury trial, if necessary. It's common for a personal injury case that goes to trial to take many months or even years to resolve. Claims for injuries that do not cause significant disability are resolved faster than claims that involve more serious injuries. If the defendant knows that he is at fault for the accident that gave rise to the injury lawsuit, or if fault is a confusing topic but the plaintiff's injuries are significant, the defendant may not want the case presented to a sympathetic jury that could award the plaintiff significant compensation for damages.
Learn more about how long it takes for personal injury cases to settle and how to negotiate a fair settlement for personal injury.