Settling Vs. Going to Trial in a Biloxi Car Accident Case
The decision of whether to settle a personal injury claim for a car accident is entirely the decision of the injured person or, in the case of someone who is incapacitated, that person’s legal guardian, spouse, or loved one. A car accident attorney does not make the decision to settle or go to trial in a Biloxi accident case. Once retained, however, they can immediately begin preparing to take the case to trial by gathering and preserving all the necessary evidence to pursue a positive outcome.
The same steps enable a lawyer to give the best possible presentation to an insurance adjuster. It is almost always worth exploring a resolution prior to litigating as case, as it can keep costs down and may result in more money going into the injured person’s pocket.
Your legal counsel could gather and analyze all the evidence to give good recommendations and advice about whether it is in your best interests to settle your case or go to trial. Armed with that advice, you may be able to make a more informed decision about how you want to proceed in seeking resolution of your claim.
Limitations on Filing
In most car accident cases in Biloxi, there is a three-year statute of limitations whether the plaintiff intends to settle or go to trial, as per Mississippi Code §15-1-49. It is important to note, though, that while the injured party has up to three years to bring a lawsuit and seek recovery for any recoverable damages they suffered in a vehicle accident, you do not need to wait three years to resolve their claim.
During the settlement process for a car accident claim, the injured party has only one chance to recover for injuries suffered in the accident. Accordingly, they need to pursue medical treatment to heal as much as possible from their injuries. If someone discovers they need more treatment, surgery, or medical care after accepting a settlement, they cannot go back to the insurance company and get additional money.
It is better to get to a point where the treating physicians tell the injured party that they have healed from their injuries as much as possible and their situation is stable going forward, and that if they require long-term treatment they can reasonably anticipate its scope and costs. Ideally, the treating physicians should provide the plaintiff with a narrative report to substantiate the necessity and costs of future medical care to include in their settlement demand.
The Basics of the Settling Process
When someone reaches the point where they know or can reasonably anticipate the amount of past and future damages suffered as a result of a car accident, they can more effectively work with the insurance carriers representing the individual whose negligence caused the accident. The insurance carriers for the injured person may provide excess coverage through the underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM) provisions of their policy and/or umbrella policies. (NOTE: Not all umbrella policies include UM coverage – check with your insurance company today to see if yours does).
If seeking a settlement for a Biloxi car wreck case instead of a civil trial, the injured person’s attorney puts together a settlement brochure summarizing the medical care and the economic and non-economic damages the plaintiff suffered as a result of the accident. As part of this brochure, the attorney may demonstrate the types of judgments or verdicts for someone who was injured in the State or in the region for similar claims.
Your attorney will then begin the process of trying to negotiate a reasonable settlement while ensuring you do not waive any claims available under your own insurance policy. Along with that process, a demand is made, the insurance company counters, and there is a back-and-forth negotiation process.
It is important for a car accident attorney to keep the injured person involved in every step of the negotiations and give advice as to their best next move. The choice about an acceptable settlement is solely the injured person’s decision to make.
Talk to an Attorney About Settling or Litigating a Biloxi Car Crash Lawsuit
If you are thinking about settling a car accident case, contact a qualified lawyer to help make sure you are fully advised of all your rights and all the types of compensation that may be available to you. Your lawyer can also help ensure that the necessary deadlines are met and nothing is done to waive any rights you might have under your own insurance policy, as well as help negotiate liens held for unpaid medical bills or those paid by a health insurer that is seeking to recover those costs.
Often, medical providers and insurance companies reduce the amount of money they are seeking as compensation to help pay a part of the attorney’s fees because they recognize that having an experienced attorney helps to maximize the plaintiff’s recovery. For more information about making the choice between settling or going to trial in your Biloxi car accident case, call today to set up a free initial consultation.