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Settling a personal injury claim? Know your options

After a car crash, the last thing you want to deal with is a long, drawn-out personal injury case. The good news is that cases rarely go to trial. Why? It's usually in the insurance agency's best interests to settle outside of court.

When you have to take a case to trial, the result is unknown. There is no guarantee of how much the judge or jury will award you. There is no guarantee that they'll rule in your favor, but, generally speaking, your injuries will speak for themselves.

Why would an insurance company want to avoid court?

If an insurance company is seen as unreasonable, the court and jury might award you much more than you would have accepted in a settlement. In general, people are happy to take what they believe is fair. For example, you'd want compensation for medical bills, lost wages and to cover pain and suffering. If the amount offered seems fair and covers these things, then you can accept the settlement.

On the other hand, an insurance company may continually make low-ball offers. If their offer doesn't cover your on-going medical costs, then you should not accept the offer.

What's the likelihood of going to court over a personal injury claim?

Around 99 percent of personal injury claims settle. Only one percent of claims proceed to trial.

Even if you get a court date, the insurance company or person who has to pay you may settle anytime up until the trial. Keep in mind that it's your choice. You can take or refuse any settlement offer made. Your attorney will help you evaluate any offers you receive and determine whether they are fair.

No two cases are the same, just as no two patients have the same needs. Don't take the first settlement you're offered. Sit down and think about how much you really need before you take any settlement offer seriously. If it's not high enough, you have a right to refuse the settlement.

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Logan-Thompson, P.C., Attorneys at Law
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Cleveland, TN 37311

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