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Why Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement?

If you were recently injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, or while visiting someone else’s property, there is a good chance that your damages are beginning to add up quickly. You may have sustained thousands of dollars of damage to your car, or perhaps it needs to be replaced.

Perhaps you have a $15,000 emergency room bill, or if you were hospitalized for a few weeks, that bill could be much higher.

Your child could have been viciously attacked by a dog and you owe $30,000 in surgical bills. You’ve been told that your child should see a therapist for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that he will need several reconstructive surgeries to his face in the future. The projected cost of this single dog attack is in the tens of thousands.

Whether or not you initially imagined filing a lawsuit, now that your losses are snowballing, you realize that you have no other choice. Do you have to brace yourself for a long trial ahead? Or, is there another way?

Most Cases Are Settled Out of Court

Believe it or not, the vast majority of personal injury actions are settled out of court, meaning they never make it to trial. Over 90% of personal injury cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement between the parties, and here is why.

Personal injury settlements are much faster and a lot less expensive than going to trial, and generally a negotiated settlement benefits both sides.

Defendants (at-fault parties) usually pay their attorney fees out of pocket. That being said, paying for lengthy depositions, expert witnesses, accident reconstructions etc. gets very expensive. So, it’s understandable as to why settling is smarter for defendants.

Plaintiffs (injured parties) benefit from a negotiated settlement as well. Why? Because, costs, such as medical bills, attorney fees, expert witnesses etc. are deducted out of their settlement or jury award.

By driving the costs down, the goal is for the plaintiff to receive more compensation. A long, protracted trial on the other hand, can get quite costly and this all comes out of the jury award.

Advantages of reaching a negotiated settlement:

  • Juries are unpredictable.
  • A jury may not award more.
  • A trial can last a year, if not longer.
  • A quick settlement minimizes costs.
  • The plaintiff receives their settlement faster.

Of course, there are a handful of cases that are better-served by a jury trial. This typically happens when the at-fault party absolutely refuses to accept responsibility for their actions, or when the opposing party insists on a low-ball settlement offer and will not offer the plaintiff what they deserve.

If you are interested in filing a claim for compensation, contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata to speak with a Schenectady personal injury attorney about your case!