If you are involved in a car accident and are not at fault, you have to make the decision of whether or not you should attempt to settle with the other driver's insurance company or file a lawsuit. There are advantages and disadvantages to each that you should consider before making any moves. Here are the pros and cons of settling with the insurance company and filing a lawsuit.
Settling With the Insurance Company
One of the biggest advantages of settling your lawsuit is that you can avoid going to court. The process it takes to actually arrive at your court hearing date can be exhaustive. Once you file the lawsuit, you have to wait on a response from the other party, go through discovery, handle pre-trial motions, and then have the court hearing. By contrast, negotiations to reach a settlement can cut that time down significantly.
There is a downside to settling. When you settle, it is possible that you could receive an amount less than what you believe your injuries and damages are worth. If you are considering settling, it is important that you carefully review your case with an attorney, like those at Burgess & Perigard, so that he or she can help determine if the offer amount is fair.
Filing a Lawsuit
For some people, filing a lawsuit is considered to be a last resort rather than an initial option. However, you can file whenever you want. One of the biggest advantages of filing a lawsuit is that you can still continue to work on a settlement as your court hearing approaches. You can even reach a settlement with the insurance company on the day of your hearing. Filing a lawsuit can help protect your right to sue. Due to statute of limitations, if you wait too late to take action, you forfeit your right to do so.
In addition to concerns about attorney and filing fees, there is another disadvantage of which you should be aware. Payment for your injuries and damages could be delayed. Not only will the pre-trial issues delay your payment, but there is the chance that an appeal could be filed. It could be months or longer before you see payment.
Each auto accident injury case is different. To find out which option is the best for you, talk with an auto accident attorney. He or she can discuss the details of your case and offer a fair assessment.