What Happens if You Can’t Reach an Injury Settlement in Pennsylvania?

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    Many victims want to settle injury claims at first. Sometimes, it’s only when they can’t settle that they realize that going to court might actually be better for their financial recovery.

    If you cannot settle your injury claim in Pennsylvania or choose not to settle, you can have your lawsuit heard by a jury. During a trial, we will present our evidence of the defendant’s negligence, and the jury will decide on their liability. Victims who go to court might claim greater damages than victims who settle, as jury awards are typically larger than settlement offers from defendants. While there are many reasons why claims don’t settle, not settling is not an indication of your claim’s possible success at trial.

    To get a confidential and free case review from our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, call The Reiff Law Firm now at (215) 709-6940.

    What to Do if You Can’t Settle Your Injury Claim in Pennsylvania

    When injury claims do not settle out of court, trials may follow. While some victims are fearful of trials, going to court might let victims claim greater damages in Pennsylvania.

    First and foremost, being unable to settle and choosing not to settle are two different things. Even if our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers negotiate a suitable settlement on your behalf, a possible jury award could be much greater, covering most or all of your economic and non-economic damages. Settlements, even when favorable for victims, still require concessions from both parties. Because of this, our attorneys often advise injury victims to go to trial, as doing so could have more benefits.

    You can also go to court if a defendant refuses to entertain settlement negotiations. Depending on the case, the assigned judge might recommend out-of-court negotiations, but defendants might not fully honor those recommendations or honestly entertain negotiations.

    Not settling a claim does not mean you will lose your case during a trial. That is to say, you should not be discouraged if you cannot settle your claim out of court. Settlement negotiations are relatively informal compared to a trial, and the defendant’s eagerness to settle or stubbornness during discussions does not reflect your case’s strength or the evidence we are prepared to present to prove your claim in court.

    While making a speedy financial recovery is often important for victims, they shouldn’t be concerned about the length of settlement negotiations regarding the statute of limitations. As long as you file your claim within two years, according to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524, you can go to court at any point, no matter how much time you have spent negotiating a settlement that did not come to fruition.

    Common Reasons Why Injury Claims Don’t Settle in Pennsylvania

    Each injury claim is unique, and a case’s likelihood of settling or going to a trial will depend on its specific circumstances and the parties involved. That said, there are several reasons why claims don’t settle, as well as several reasons why victims shouldn’t settle injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania.

    Lack of Evidence

    Defendants won’t offer fair settlements if they do not believe victims have enough evidence to meet the standard of proof. Having evidence to leverage during negotiations is crucial, which is why victims should prioritize evidence collection immediately after sustaining personal injuries. To preserve evidence, you can photograph it. For example, you can take pictures of injuries to your person. You can also ensure your medical records are complete and accurate by getting routine care from medical professionals. Our injury lawyers can prepare the necessary evidence prior to filing your claim in Pennsylvania and before settlement negotiations commence so that we do not face this issue.

    Defendant Issues

    A defendant’s main goal is to avoid financial liability for a plaintiff’s damages. Because of that, some defendants might try to intentionally disrupt or derail settlement negotiations to jeopardize victims’ claims. When defendants are purposely non-communicative or otherwise cause problems during settlement talks, victims can change directions and move forward with trials in Pennsylvania.

    Liability Questions

    Questions surrounding liability might also derail settlement negotiations. For example, if the defendant believes you share fault for the incident, they might give lower settlement offers. While a victim’s negligence won’t bar them from recovery if they are not at fault, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7102 states that a victim’s compensation will be reduced proportionally to their blame. If the defendant threatens you with Pennsylvania’s comparative fault law, our lawyers can determine if it applies to your case or should impact your compensation. Even victims who share fault can make full financial recoveries if a defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the incident but failed to.

    Bad Offers

    Finally, some injury claims do not settle because defendants simply do not give victims good offers worth entertaining. Victims are not obligated to accept unfair settlement offers from defendants. In fact, they shouldn’t. Agreeing to a low-ball offer could leave you without compensation for costly damages, like medical bills or lost wages. Our lawyers will calculate all damages from the accident in question so that we know your total losses before entertaining settlement talks.

    Often, many settlement offers are bad compared to what victims could recover at a trial. For example, a jury award could cover all your financial losses from the accident. Furthermore, Pennsylvania does not cap non-economic damages, meaning victims can recover substantial jury awards for pain and suffering. Settlement offers rarely cover all emotional damages, which is why many victims choose to go to court. Furthermore, if the defendant was grossly negligent when they injured you, going to court could lead to punitive damages from the jury, which a settlement would not include.

    Call Our Injury Lawyers in Pennsylvania Now

    Call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free case evaluation from our Chester County personal injury lawyers.

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    Philadelphia, PA 19102
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