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Negotiating a Legal Settlement | Car Accident Settlement Examples

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 4 minutes

Negotiating a Legal Settlement | Car Accident Settlement Examples

Topics covered in this article: How a car accident settlement works. How to get the most out of your settlement. Car accident settlement examples. How to find a car accident attorney near you.

Have you suffered an injury in a car accident? 

If so, chances are that you’re a bit confused, and even overwhelmed, by the prospect of a lawsuit.  Litigation is complicated, of course, and it isn’t always clear what you have to do to obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Sometimes your losses may be particularly substantial. These may include wage loss, medical expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and more. You may wonder: what if I sue the defendant, and lose? 

Fortunately, most car accident disputes in America are not resolved in a win-lose court case scenario.  Most in fact, the large majority estimated at 95 percent or more, legal cases are resolved through a negotiated settlement. This avoids the uncertainty and fear of a failed lawsuit. Curious? Read on to learn more about car accident settlement basics. 

How a Car Accident Settlement Works

So, 95+ percent of car accident disputes are resolved through a settlement. That may seem like a lot, and it is! But, the statistic begs the question: why are most car accident disputes concluded through settlement, and not courtroom litigation

See, litigation is uncertain, expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting. Most parties would rather avoid an extended court case. Parties may think it preferable to settle the case in three months, for example, then to win the case after two years of a expensive, hard-fought courtroom litigation. Perhaps most importantly, success is never guaranteed. 

This uncertainty lies at the heart of every dispute. Suppose that you have a favorable legal claim, and you have a roughly 70 percent chance of winning your case if you move ahead to trial. That percentage may not be enough, however. There’s still a good chance that your case won’t succeed. And even if it does, the court may not award all the damages that you’re seeking. 

Settlement is so common because parties would rather avoid rolling the dice of the dispute. A certain, “fair” amount is preferable to the uncertainty of a trial. It’s the difference between accepting a $70,000 payout for your car accident claims, and rolling the dice on the possibility of securing $100,000 (with a chance that you’ll receive absolutely nothing). 

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Settlement?

Now we know why settlement is so common. But, how can you maximize the settlement offers that you receive from the defendant? Generally speaking, you maximize settlement offers by introducing evidence and legal arguments that:

  1. increase the likelihood that you would “win” your case at trial, and
  2. increase the likelihood that the court would award you the claimed damages. 

This may seem confusing, so let’s use an example to clarify. 

Car Accident Settlement Examples

Suppose that you are injured in a car accident. You sustain serious back injuries, and believe that you have a $100,000 claim. After suing the defendant, you enter into settlement negotiations with them. Thanks to extensive evidence, and an airtight legal argument, you have a 90 percent chance of “winning” your case at trial. Also, your damages are fully supported by the evidence, there is no room for debate there. Under these circumstances, your settlement offers are likely to hover around $90,000, or 90 percent of the claim, reflecting the “risk” of taking the case to trial. 

Now, suppose that the percentages are different. Perhaps the case is complicated, and the evidence scant. There is only a 50 percent chance that you win the case if it were to move ahead to trial. The damages are also believed to be exaggerated, and there’s a 50 percent chance that you would be awarded $100,000 even if you won the case. Under these circumstances, your settlement offers are likely to hover around $25,000, or 25 percent of the claim, again reflecting the “risk” of taking the case to trial. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Car Accident Lawyer Free Consultation 

If you were hurt in a car accident, then the law may entitle you to compensation. However, a legal dispute doesn’t always play out like a movie or tv show. In fact, most cases are resolved through settlement. 

Settlement negotiations can be complex. Securing maximum compensation is the goal of any attorney, but it isn’t always straightforward. To improve the likelihood of a favorable result, you’ll want to work with an experienced car accident attorney who understands how to persuasively advocate on your behalf. 

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an experienced network auto accident attorneys. We’ll get you connected in just 10 minutes or less to an accident atto who can help you move forward with your case. 

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