Factors Indicating You Might Want to Settle Your Claim

May 12, 2021

Most cases settle out of court, which means the parties involved don’t have to go to trial. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean your settlement is fair. Commonly, the plaintiff receiving the offer settles for less than they actually deserve. Still, under certain circumstances, the defendant pays a premium to settle the case. So, how do you know when to settle? The short answer is: Speak to a skilled Bethlehem accident attorney to find out if you’ve received a good settlement offer.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, a serious injury, or even death caused by a car, motorcycle, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, an accident caused by unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, a manufacturer’s defective product, a construction accident, an animal attack, or medical malpractice, you’ll need a Bethlehem accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis who is a skillful negotiator and ready to fight for just compensation. 

What is a “Good” Settlement Offer?

Reasonable people understand that a good settlement is one where both parties walk away satisfied. Be careful not to let anger, resentment, or other negative emotions dictate your negotiations. This type of approach virtually guarantees that no settlement will be reached, as the opposing party will likely react with the same emotions.

So, a good settlement offer typically means that plaintiffs do not receive everything they want, and defendants pay more than they’d like. Still, if you can get reasonably close to the calculated value of your case, you should seriously consider settling.

Factors to Consider Before Settling

Several factors should be considered when you’re deciding whether to offer or accept a settlement:

  • Risk. Remember that a settlement is a sure thing. You will receive everything you have been offered, but if you go to trial, you risk getting nothing at all. Juries, and even judges, are shaped by their own values and prejudices and may rule against you even if the facts are on your side.
  • Fault. If you are even partly responsible for your injuries, this will reduce your settlement value. Take this into account when considering a settlement offer.
  • Time. How much time have you already invested in your case? How much more time are you willing to invest? Even a Bethlehem accident attorney who is efficient, skilled, and experienced has to take some of your time to gather facts and evidence, and the opposing party often uses time as a weapon to wear you down, demanding hundreds of documents and other evidence and subjecting you and those close to you to depositions.
  • Privacy. Trials are public records, while settlement agreements can be private with a simple confidentiality clause. Do you want your personal business exposed to the world?
  • Solvency. Commonly, companies who lose a case and are required to pay damages simply resort to bankruptcy and start their business over under a new name. While bankruptcy laws are supposed to protect debtors, the reality is that experienced bankruptcy lawyers know just how to get this done.
  • Reasonableness. If the defendant has deep pockets and an army of lawyers dedicated to drawing out the process, this is a powerful weapon for them to use against you. For instance, a popular theme park/entertainment company has earned a reputation of never settling, knowing that this reputation makes victims of their wrongful acts think twice before suing them.

A Bethlehem Accident Attorney Will Help You Consider and Negotiate a Settlement

All in all, if the facts are not entirely on your side, or if you are partly at fault, do not have time, are concerned about privacy, and/or are dealing with an unreasonable defendant, it’s time to at least start considering a settlement. 

Contact a Bethlehem accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis for your free consultation. We’ll either get you a favorable settlement or take your case to trial.