Most legal claims that stem from injuries or accidents don’t rise to the level of a civil court trial. In fact, they are usually resolved at an earlier stage during the litigation process through settlement negotiations that occur among the parties involved in the case. At times, an informal settlement can occur prior to any lawsuit even being filed. The person who plans to file a lawsuit, “the plaintiff”, agrees to waive their right to seek any further legal action pertaining to the injury or the accident in exchange for an agreed upon payment of a financial amount to be paid by the defendant or an insurance company once an agreement has finally been reached, though a settlement that is desirable to all the negotiating parties. However, on rare occasion, as an alternative to providing monetary compensation, the defendant in the case will agree to either perform or cease performing a particular action.
If you’re considering the settlement of a legal claim after you’ve been injured or have been in an accident, or if you’ve been propositioned for a settlement from the opposing side of your case, you may want to seek the guidance of an attorney, as it’s vital to attain his or her thorough case assessment in addition to his or her expert opinion regarding the likelihood of a fair settlement.
When consulting a lawyer for divorce, it’s smart to consider and discuss the following matters:
• similar jury verdicts & settlement outcomes.
• your likelihood of being successful at trial.
• pragmatic difficulties with trying your case.
• your evidence’s strengths & weaknesses.
• your opponent’s strengths & weaknesses.
• your lawyer’s assessment of your case’s monetary value when settling or at trial.
• the minimum amount you’ll accept to settle your case to avoid trial.
• the defendant’s policy limits with their insurance coverage.
• the defendant’s monetary resources.
• What amount of your settlement proceeds must be applied to lawyer’s fees and other costs?
In the majority of personal injury cases, the lawyer is compensated with contingency fees, which means that your lawyer isn’t paid unless you win at trial or a settlement has been made that’s favorable to you.
• How will my settlement payments affect both my state and federal and income taxes?
Most settlements are regarded as taxable income that requires reporting on your income tax returns. The percentage you’re required to pay depends upon your case’s circumstances.
• Consider what you’ll give up in the interest of settling your case.
Usually, give and take is necessary on the plaintiff’s part to effectively negotiate an acceptable settlement that will benefit both sides and be acceptable to both sides.
• Consider a potential for partial settlement.
Alternatively, settle the easy matters as you commence with negotiating the more complicated matters; and
• Decide if you’re willing to accept a remedy, as opposed to financial compensation.
Undesirable Scrutiny to Either Party
• Typically, civil court trials are publicly accessible, which permits scrutiny and media coverage.
• Undesirable personal information could come to light at trial or during the discovery process.
• Confidential information or trade secrets can be disclosed during a trial.
• Consider when your case will likely be called to trial and the approximate trial length.
The Opposing Lawyer’s Negotiation Technique
Your lawyer might have negotiated with the opposing lawyer previously, or has consulted other lawyers to gauge what he or she should expect in a case, and the zealousness of your opposing party to gain a desirable negotiation on their own part.
Have You Been Offered a Settlement? Secure Legal Assistance!
As a lawsuit party, you exclusively, are the party to make the final decision about accepting and agreeing to the final settlement terms, but be mindful that he counsel on the other side holds an obligation to act in the best interest of his or her client(s), which very likely means you’ll be offered the lowest amount possible. If this isn’t in your best interest, it’s smart to seek legal advice from an experienced civil attorney. If you require legal assistance regarding a settlement offer, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer for a complementary consultation!