Can I Settle My Pennsylvania Car Accident Case without Going to Court?
In general, victims have two options after filing a car accident lawsuit. They can either go to trial or settle out of court. If you require compensation following a car crash in Pennsylvania, it’s important to learn the best path to take for your case.
Settling a car accident case out of court is only possible when all involved parties agree to settle. When cases are resolved without a trial, victims cannot then go seek additional compensation. The settlement victims agree to will be what they receive. Although victims might be under the impression that settling out of court means they will recover compensation sooner, that is not necessarily true. Furthermore, going to trial can present the opportunity for recovery of more damages, including compensation for the pain and suffering experienced by a victim because of a car accident in Pennsylvania.
Victims can call The Reiff Law Firm’s Upper Darby car accident lawyers at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free and confidential case assessment today.
Can You Settle Your Car Accident Case without Going to Court in Pennsylvania?
Victims often need to recover compensation quickly when faced with the damages caused by a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania. While a settlement can sometimes offer a faster recovery, it may also require concessions on a victim’s behalf.
Whether or not you can settle a car accident case without going to court depends on a few things in Pennsylvania. The first is if a defendant also wants to settle. While settling is often preferable for defendants, they might want to go to court, depending on the available evidence against them. Some defendants want to take their chances in court in the hopes that they will not be ordered to pay any damages to victims.
This goes both ways. If a defendant is urging you to settle your car accident case out of court, that might be an indication that they believe they will lose the case at trial. While many motor vehicle accident claims settle without going to court, our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers typically advise victims to take their cases before judges or juries, as doing so can often result in greater compensatory damages for victims.
Settlements can happen at any time during the litigation process. Victims can also leave settlement negotiations and proceed with a trial whenever they choose, provided they have not already signed a settlement agreement. There is no time limit on how long settlements might take in Pennsylvania.
What Happens When You Settle Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Case without Going to Court in Pennsylvania?
When victims choose to settle their car accident claims out of court, they will not be able to recover additional compensation if they then realize that their settlements do not adequately cover the cost of their injuries in Pennsylvania.
If a case is settled out of court, that is the end of the matter. The compensation amount that is agreed upon will be paid to the victim, whether in one large payment or over time. Settlements do not always fully compensate victims for damages incurred because of an auto accident. Medical treatment will likely continue past a settlement agreement and might become more expensive than what a victim anticipated. When settlements are accepted, victims no longer have the option of going to court.
Many defendants push plaintiffs to settle so that they will not have to pay substantial compensation to victims. They know that when a settlement is agreed upon, that will be that, and a victim cannot then go to trial to seek greater compensation. Because of this, it is important to evaluate settlement offers against your actual damages carefully. If a settlement is not good, do not feel pressure to accept it. You can either continue negotiating with the defendant and leverage the evidence you have of their fault or go to trial. Victims can choose to leave settlement negotiations at any time during the process. Because the claim has already been filed, you do not have to worry about the statute of limitations. If you are concerned that a settlement will not adequately compensate you, it may be best to take your case to court in Pennsylvania.
Should You Settle Your Pennsylvania Car Accident Case without Going to Court?
Settling versus going to court can be a difficult decision that victims have to make. The fact that greater compensation can be available in trials may be enough to convince victims to take their car accident claims to court in Pennsylvania.
Often, the prospect of settling a car accident case appeals to victims who need compensation quickly. In reality, settlement negotiations can take a very long time. In some cases, it might be years before a dispute is settled out of court. Settlements can take just as long as trials, sometimes longer.
Settling a case out of court involves negotiations and concessions from both parties. Because of this, certain damages will likely not be available in a settlement. For example, defendants rarely offer non-economic damages that will compensate victims for their pain and suffering following a car crash. Judges and juries can award such damages to victims upon reviewing proof of pain and suffering.
Punitive damages are also unavailable in settlements for car accident claims. If you take your case to court and prove that the defendant acted with gross negligence when causing your injuries, the judge or jury in your case may award you punitive damages to punish the defendant for their actions.
Your case is only about your recovery. In order to ensure your recovery, it is important that you understand the differences between settling and going to trial and which path has the capacity to result in greater compensation for you.
Call Our Pennsylvania Lawyers About Your Car Accident Case
For a free case review from The Reiff Law Firm, call our Norristown, PA car accident lawyers now at (215) 709-6940.