Factors That Could Lead to a Large Settlement
Dec 31, 2020 - Personal Injury
Our Allentown Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, then Pennsylvania law may give you a right of action against the defendant.
It’s important to understand, however, that successful cases don’t often go to trial — despite public perceptions. The vast majority of disputes are resolved through settlement, thus avoiding the time, expense, and frustration associated with trial litigation.
At Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our attorneys have decades of experience representing a wide range of injured plaintiffs in Pennsylvania. In many cases, we’re able to secure a favorable result through early settlement. If you’d like to speak to an experienced Allentown personal injury lawyer about your case, call us at 888-777-7098 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.
For now, you may be thinking: what actually influences the dollar value amount that the defendant is willing to settle for? Let’s take a brief look at some of the unique factors that can lead to a larger settlement amount.
Injuries that are particularly severe — such as loss of limb, blindness, and traumatic brain injury, and other impairments — are likely to be associated with significant damages, as the impact can be quite drastic.
The pain and suffering associated with a serious injury is likely to be severe, and there may be consequences for the plaintiff’s social and personal life. Their spouse may leave them due to their impairments, they may be unable to engage in recreational activities with their friends’ group, and more.
A plaintiff who has suffered a traumatic brain injury (that renders them incapable of concentrating, for example) may be unable to perform their job duties, and in fact, may no longer be qualified to continue along their previous career path. This can lead to significant wage loss and loss of future earning capacity damages.
Defendants are aware that these impacts can escalate the damages total, and may be willing to make a larger settlement offer as a result.
The Defendant is Likely to be Held Liable
The more effective your legal argument (i.e., the more likely it is that the court will hold the defendant responsible for your injuries should the case go to trial), the more likely the defendant will attempt to settle for an amount closer to what you’re looking for.
If the defendant knows they “cannot” win — or are very likely to lose — should the case go to trial, then, unless they want to run up defense costs, they may make a larger settlement offer to end the dispute early.
Potential for Media Coverage
Defendants — particularly businesses — generally want to avoid the negative press associated with a lawsuit.
For example, if you are suing a restaurant chain for having failed to take proper precautions with spill safety on the premises (leading to a slip-and-fall), then the restaurant chain may feel concerned about the impact that the negative press will have on their business, as customers may begin to perceive them as a careless, sloppy operation.
Negative press may be enhanced if the plaintiff is easy to sympathize with. For example, the public is more likely to paint the defendant as a “villain” if the plaintiff is a single mother of two children who is no longer able to work due to her injuries. This can coax the defendant into making a large, early settlement offer to avoid the media circus.
Litigation Can be Expensive for Defendants
Litigation isn’t cheap for defendants.
They’ll need to spend time investigating and gathering evidence and identifying and deposing witnesses. In most cases, they’ll need to work with costly experts to evaluate various aspects of the case — for example, in a motor vehicle accident dispute, they may hire accident reconstruction experts to understand the mechanics behind the accident itself.
As the case develops, these costs may escalate. The longer-and-longer that a case is allowed to fester, the more expenses that the defendant is forced to take on. If the case looks as though it may lead to an expensive defense, the defendant may choose to offer a favorable settlement offer instead.
Our Allentown Personal Injury Lawyer is Ready to Help You With Your Case
Have questions or concerns about whether to settle your case or proceed with a trial? Contact our Allentown personal injury lawyer today to discuss your rights and options. Call 888-777-7098 for immediate assistance.