A car or truck accident can upend the way that you live your life. Your physical and emotional pain and suffering can make daily tasks difficult, which can lead to a loss of enjoyment of life. The financial losses can be overwhelming, too. Your lost wages, in conjunction with seemingly insurmountable medical expenses, can render it hard to make ends meet. Making matters worse is that there may be no end in sight, with the threat of your injuries lingering far into the future, bringing with it severe financial implications.
But as bleak as the future may seem at this moment, there is hope. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover the compensation that you need to find financial stability while you focus on obtaining a robust recovery. If you do choose to pursue a personal injury claim, then you’re likely to be offered a settlement at some point. While it might be tempting to take one of these offers and its promise of a quick payout, you should carefully consider the following factors to better determine if settlement truly is best for you and your family.
- The extent of your damages: Before taking a settlement, carefully consider the full extent of your losses, both economic and non-economic. This means calculating both incurred and expected lost wages and medical expenses, as well as considering the impact your injury has on the way that you live and enjoy your life. Only by putting your losses in perspective like this and calculating the true damages caused can you tell if a settlement offer is really appropriate.
- The evidence supporting your claim: If the settlement offer is far off from your actual damages, then you’ll want to look at the strength of the evidence supporting your claim to determine if it’s in your best interests to proceed with trial. This means looking not only at evidence that establishes liability, such as witness accounts, police records, and accident reconstruction reports, but also the evidence that demonstrates the extent of your damages.
- The evidence against you: You’ll also want to conduct this analysis for the evidence that will be used against you at trial. For example, if there’s strong evidence that you were partially at fault, then Montana’s comparative negligence law requires that your recovery be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to you. Therefore, you’ll need to anticipate the defenses you’ll face and your ability to effectively counter them.
- How have other cases turned out: Your case is unique, but the facts are probably similar to other cases that have been litigated. By looking at those cases, you might get a more realistic perspective on your likelihood of success should you choose to take your case to trial.
- Your desire to move on: Taking a case to trial can take some time. That’s one reason why many people end up settling their cases. They feel like they need money as quickly as possible, and they simply want to move on with their lives as quickly as possible without the uncertainty of litigation hanging over their head. You have to ask yourself if you’re willing to hold out for the potential of a larger recovery at trial to determine if settlement is right for you.
Don’t leave your case to chance
There’s a lot on the line in your personal injury case. With that in mind, you shouldn’t try to improvise a settlement resolution that you think works for you. Instead, you need to diligently prepare your case so that you can maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Fortunately, you have resources at your disposal to help you better position yourself for success.