You can settle your personal injury case whenever you want. You are not required to continue with your case any longer than you feel comfortable. In fact, the majority of personal injury cases settle before going to trial. However, cases do not always settle at that same point in the process. Let’s talk about the different steps in the process where you may consider settling your personal injury case.
What Settlement Means For Your Personal Injury Case
First, let’s discuss what the term “settlement” means. A settlement is a compromise between you and the person who injured you. You have a Constitutional Right to go to a jury trial if you want. A “settlement” is really just your decision to “sell” your jury trial to the person who injured you in exchange for money. In that way, it is like any other large transaction – similar to selling your house. When you settle your personal injury case, you will have to sign paperwork that states you will no longer pursue legal action for your accident-related injuries.
You should consider what you are willing to settle for, taking into account the risks and benefits of going to trial and the potential value of your case. If you have questions about what your personal injury case may be worth, speak with your attorney. They will be able to guide you.
Should You Settle Your Personal Injury Case Before You File a Lawsuit?
Generally speaking, your personal injury lawyer will not recommend that you settle your case until you are done with medical treatment for your injuries. Generally, your attorney will recommend against settling your case before then, since a settlement means you will get no more money for your injury from that point on. If you continue to treat your injuries and the medical bills exceed what you were paid by the other side, you will not be compensated for those bills. Once you have healed or the doctors say you are as good as you are going to get, the other side may reach out with an offer to settle your personal injury case.
There is a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit. This is called the “statute of limitations.” Generally, the statute of limitations on a personal injury case runs out after two years. If you are still treating your injuries and the statute of limitations is approaching, your personal injury attorney will likely suggest that you file a lawsuit – even if you will continue medical treatment after the lawsuit is filed.
Settling Your Personal Injury Case After Your Deposition
Once your personal injury lawsuit has been filed, generally there are two times during the process where it is common to settle a case. The first time is after the other side has taken your deposition.
A deposition is a sworn statement where the other side will ask you questions about your case and a court reporter will record everything that is said. Depositions are done in order for the other side to learn your side of the story. Once these are completed, the other side may offer a settlement, or they may ask to go through mediation.
Mediation and the Settlement Process
Mediation is the second time when a case is frequently settled. Mediation is basically settlement discussions in person. It usually takes place in a law office. A neutral third party called a mediator will review your case, then discuss terms with both you and the other side to see if an agreement can be reached to settle your personal injury case. Most of the time, mediations are successful.
If you have questions about the settlement process, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1542 or visit our website, FightingForFairness.com.