Leesburg, Florida personal injury lawyer explains why most personal injury claims should settle.
As a general rule, most personal injury cases should settle. I know everybody talks their bravado, stating that they will try your personal injury case, but the fact is that a small number of cases go to trial. This is coming from a trial lawyer. Why do most cases settle? Because they should be settled. Because there is risk on both sides. Because it is the best decision to put the case to rest so the parties can get on with the rest of their lives.
There are situations where cases need to be tried and will not settle. The two most common scenarios are:
- There is a dispute over fault. This is case where the injured person says the defendant (person who allegedly caused the injury) is at fault and the defendant (or his insurance company) takes the position that they are not at fault. If the parties cannot agree on who is at fault (liability) for the accident then a jury will have to settle the dispute.
- The insurance company is being unreasonable. In these cases, the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement amount. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes the adjuster just doesn't know how to evaluate the case. Other times the insurance company is misinformed or believes that the value that it is putting on the case is reasonable. In these cases, the insurance company makes the client's decision to go to trial easy.
Cases should settle when the insurance company offers a reasonable amount of money. Put another way, an amount of money that is within the range of potential verdicts. Typically, it will not be the highest potential amount but it will be in the range. It is at these times that the client has to rely on their attorney's advice. There attorney should not the settlement value of the case and the risks and benefits associated with going to trial. The attorney should sit down the client and counsel them on these issues so the client can make an informed decision. In the end, it is the client's decision whether to settle a case or not.
If you have any questions about a Leesburg, Florida personal injury matter call (352) 267-9168.