Have you recently been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault? You have two options here: file a personal injury case in Florida or opt for settlement. By choosing a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side, you can get significantly more benefits for your accident and injuries.
An experienced lawyer will also work to negotiate the best possible settlement based on your injuries and the long-term effects they may have on you. However, it will ultimately be your call to accept a certain amount as settlement or take your case to trial as the petitioner.
Based on the data shared by the U.S. Justice Department, about 97 percent of all claims, including personal injury ones, are settled or dismissed without even a trial. That being said, a personal injury lawyer can advise you on whether it’s in your best interest to accept a settlement or instead take the case to trial.
How Does a Settlement Work for a Personal Injury Case in Florida?
The term “settlement” refers to a formal resolution of your claim or lawsuit before the case goes to a judge or jury for hearing. This means that you accept money in exchange for dropping your case against the party who caused your injury.
Settlement agreements can be reached at any point when the litigation is going on. However, it should be before jurors reach a verdict. In certain instances, the case can settle even before you have filed a personal injury case in Florida.
The process for settlement varies depending on the case type and the number of defendants involved in it. The settlement process in an injury lawsuit typically proceeds in the following way.
Once your injuries have stabilized, or you have reached your maximum medical improvement, then your lawyer submits a claim letter explaining your injuries. This letter describes the monetary amount of compensation you are seeking, supplying a legal argument in support of your demand, and including any other supporting documentation.
The defendant’s lawyer responds, which is usually in the form of a counteroffer.
This begins the settlement negotiation that often requires a lot of back-and-forth phone calls, Zoom meetings, and emails between the lawyers of both parties. These formal meetings also constitute some exchange of initial discovery and some pre-trial hearings that help resolve minor issues while whittling down the scope of a trial.
If the attorneys from both sides are able to reach an agreement, then the petitioner has to sign away future liabilities, meaning they cannot sue again later.
What’s Involved in the Trial Process for Personal Injury Cases?
Apart from the setting, if the petitioner is not satisfied with the amount that is offered for settlement, they may continue with the trial. However, note that the claims can take several months or even years to make it to the trial phase. This usually depends on how complex your case is.
The cases are split into two parts:
- Liability – determining who is responsible and to what extent.
- Damages – determining the amount that has to be compensated for the damage.
In a trial, the jury will open statements, conduct cross-examination, witness testimony, and close arguments. There will be jury instruction, jury deliberation, and verdict. As said above that the trial could last a few hours, or they could even last weeks.
Nevertheless, all trials require significant levels of preparation and an experienced attorney. If you choose to take a case to trial, ensure that the attorney you are working with has a track record of success in prior trials.
Which Option Is More Feasible?
For certain cases, going for a trial may make more sense, while settling is often preferred instead. However, that is not a decision one should take lightly without careful consideration and consultation with their attorney.
If you have also been involved in an accident and are thinking of filing a personal injury case in Florida, Florida Lawyers 360 can help you. Our lawyers are experienced and prepare to file your lawsuit with zeal. We can be your trusted and reliable partner when it comes to handling a personal injury case in Florida.