Is It Cheaper to Settle Your Auto Accident Claim?

Auto accidents are a major concern in the United States. In Texas, more than 11,000 people die in accidental deaths every year. Losing a loved one to an auto accident is a huge concern since it’s an unexpected death and one might not know how to navigate systems. Having an auto accident alone is a major task that could impact auto insurance costs. There are several ways to resolve car accidents, either through a settlement or going to trial.

1. Settlements Are Quicker

In fact, 95% of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement. The idea is that settlements require less work, where written negotiations take place between the attorneys for both parties and the insurance company. This process saves money for both parties, where trials require more time and effort. A settlement averages three to six months, where a trial could take twice as long.

The process for a trial takes twice as long due to jury selection, opening statements, testimony, and cross-examination, as well as jury deliberation. Both parties are saving money and time when working directly with their lawyers and insurance company. Even though personal injury trials do move more quickly through the judicial system, it can take days or weeks for the trial to finish.

2. You Have Control Over What You Receive

Going to a trial involves a third party — the jury decides if the defendant is responsible for the accident. If the jury decides in the favor of the plaintiff, they decide what value is placed on the pain and suffering endured during and after the accident. If the plaintiff asks for a certain amount, the jury decides what amount and it could be lower than what is asked for.

When a car accident results in extreme pain and suffering, loss of income, or death, it is imperative that the injured party can impact the outcome with their attorney. It’s beneficial to work with a lawyer who can fight for an appropriate amount to replace income loss and reduced quality of life.

3. Lawyer Costs Can Be Lower

In 2012, 1,268,011 U.S. men and women practiced as licensed lawyers. This quote emphasizes the number of lawyers available to work on personal injury or auto accident claims. When going to trial, the amount of preparation can be costly, and gathering evidence, witnesses, and other testimony is time-consuming.

These steps are costly to the consumer for the lawyer to have a successful trial. Not going to trial is saving money for plaintiffs and defendants in the long term. The idea is to lower costs for the injured party and not prolong the agony of pain and suffering through trial preparation or jury selection. The injured parties are saving money by having the lawyer work directly with the defendant and the insurance company as well. Phone, emails, and faxes are less time-consuming than trial deliberations.

4. Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat

When pursuing a settlement for an auto accident, the plaintiff is in control. It’s important to be in the driver’s seat at this point to ensure that the funds go to you and your lawyer, instead of trial fees. The trial can be effective to sort out the particulars of an incident. However, it does pay to maintain a certain amount of control, as an injured party.

It’s important to find a lawyer who will explore all the options available when dealing with a car accident. A reputable lawyer will be fair to your situation, but they will also recognize the pros and cons of settlements versus trials for the best outcome. Most of all, the lawyer will find the best way to compensate you for your pain and suffering and will help to restore your quality of life.

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