There are lots of reasons car accidents occur. It could be due to a distracted driver or someone having a bad day and deciding to take it out on another motorist. If you’ve suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence, you want justice, and you want it fast. The quickest way to get that justice will be to obtain a full and fair car accident settlement.
The attorneys with the Jones Law Group would like to give you a little insight into how the settlement process works. When you choose us to represent you, we guarantee we’ll use our skills and experience to help you get the maximum compensation you have coming. Of course, we’ll also be with you every step of the way, keeping you informed at all times.
What is a Settlement?
When the two sides in a legal dispute agree on the payment one side will make to the other, that means they’ve settled. Once this happens, the dispute is over. Both parties will dismiss any further litigation. Settlements are the best solution because both sides avoid paying legal fees, and the victim receives their money faster.
The key to a fair settlement is obtaining compensation that fully covers your accident-related losses. You should get the total amount you would have received if the case had gone to court. It takes an experienced attorney to make that happen.
Unfortunately, some law firms will accept far less than their clients deserve. These are known as “settlement mills.” Settlement mill lawyers want to take as many cases as possible. So they’ll settle a case quickly – usually for far less than what their clients should get – and move on to the next one.
Factors That Affect Your Settlement’s Value
There is no such thing as an “average” car accident settlement amount. The amount you get will depend on a lot of different factors. The worse your injury, in most cases, the more you’ll get. It only makes sense because the more severe the injury, the more it will cost to treat.
Another factor will be the strength of the evidence in your case. If your attorney has solid proof that you weren’t to blame, that could help increase the settlement amount. This proof includes evidence gathered at the accident scene, witness interviews, and more.
Settlement vs. Trial
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to settle, the case will go to trial. But the vast majority of car accident cases never get to this point – for many reasons.
The biggest reason is uncertainty. Even though both sides might be sure they’re in the right, they never know how a jury will rule. This unpredictability is very risky. In addition, plaintiffs will often not want to go to trial because of the costs. These include legal fees, travel expenses, the time they lose from work, and more. Finally, a trial can also mean a lot of additional stress for everyone involved.
How is My Settlement Amount Calculated?
It’s your attorney’s job to calculate your “damages” or financial losses. Calculating tangible or “economic” damages is relatively easy. These include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. All your lawyer needs to do is get your medical bills, pay stubs, and the mechanic’s estimate to prove those damages.
What sets skilled attorneys apart from others is their ability to calculate your subjective or “non-economic” damages accurately.
One of the most common is pain and suffering. If your medical bill includes $2,000 for an MRI, that won’t impact your pain and suffering damages. Likewise, if you received treatment in the emergency room and were released without needing further treatment, you likely won’t receive much – if anything – for pain and suffering. But receiving a $2,000 bill for physical therapy could make those damages rise substantially.
An attorney will ensure your doctor writes down everything that has to do with your treatment. Otherwise, it will be tough to prove your non-economic damages.
How Jones Law Group Will Negotiate a Higher Settlement on Your Behalf
The insurance company will do everything possible to reduce your settlement as much as possible. It could argue that you had a pre-existing condition that had nothing to do with the accident.
But experienced lawyers know how to defeat this argument and others the insurer might try to make against you. Attorneys will have the information they need to negotiate successfully on your behalf. This information includes your medical records, the result of the investigation, and much more. They will use this information to help you get the most money possible through a settlement.
How Long Will It Take to Receive My Car Accident Settlement?
There’s no set-in-stone timeframe regarding how long it will be before you receive your check. On average, however, it will usually take about six weeks. Of course, the more complex your case, the longer it will probably take.
The first step will be to sign the settlement. Once that happens, the insurance company will cut a check to your attorney, who will deposit it into an account. After the check clears, the attorney will take out their fees. Other expenses may also be taken out, such as any unpaid medical bills. For example, you might have signed an agreement with your doctor to receive medical treatment in exchange for a promise to pay for that treatment once your case settles.
Contact Jones Law Group Today to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
A Jones Law Group attorney can tell you much more about how a car accident settlement works. Our firm will also be ready to provide the expert legal representation needed so that you can obtain maximum compensation. We’ll be more than happy to tell you about our track record in cases similar to yours and to answer any other questions you may have.