A lot of personal injury cases end up settling before going to trial. While this can save you a lot of time and headaches, it might also cut you short of the amount of compensation you could recover if you went forward with litigation. This means that you have to balance a number of considerations during settlement negotiations to determine whether a particular offer is in your best interests.
Know how to analyze a settlement offer
You increase the risk of doing yourself a disservice by accepting an inappropriate settlement offer if you don’t know how to analyze it. Therefore, before acting on any settlement offer, you need to consider each of the following:
- The evidentiary strengths and weaknesses of your case: If your case is strong, then you have more leverage to push for more compensation during negotiations. If your case is relatively weak, though, then you’ll need to carefully consider if you should accept an offer. To understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, though, you need to know the legal intricacies that might come into play.
- The value of your case: You can’t tell whether a settlement offer is appropriate without knowing how much your damages are worth. So, calculate your financial losses, including lost wages, medical expenses, and future losses, in addition to noneconomic losses like pain and suffering.
- How much you want to deal with the stress of litigation: Litigation can be drawn out, which many people find stressful. Also, a lot of people simply can’t wait for a larger payout. For these reasons, you need to take into account how much you’re willing to pursue litigation if that means increasing the likelihood of securing a larger payout.
In the grand scheme of things, assessing a settlement offer is conducting a risk-reward analysis. An attorney who has experience handling these types of cases can give you a realistic analysis of your case so that you can make the decision that is right for you.