The Personal Injury Settlement: What You Need to Know
Contact the personal injury attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. today. We can help you get the just compensation you deserve for your injuries or those of a loved one. For a free initial consultation, call 203-221-3100 or email JMaya@Mayalaw.com.
The majority of legal claims arising from accidents or injuries do not reach a civil court trial. Typically, they are resolved earlier in the litigation process through a negotiated settlement among the parties. Sometimes an informal settlement can take place before any lawsuit is even filed. Through settlement, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) agrees to give up the right to pursue any further legal action in connection with the accident or injury, in exchange for payment of an agreed-upon sum of money from the defendant or an insurance company. In rare cases, instead of paying money, the defendant will agree to perform or stop performing a certain action.
If you are thinking about settling a legal claim after an accident or injury, or if you have received a settlement offer from the opposing side, you may want to talk to an attorney. It’s important to get his or her thorough assessment of the case and opinion about the likelihood of settlement. When meeting with your attorney you should consider and discuss the following points:
Strength of the Case
- Jury verdicts and settlement outcomes in similar cases;
- Your chances of winning at trial;
- Practical difficulties in trying the case;
- Strengths and weaknesses in your evidence; and
- Strength and weaknesses in your opponent's evidence.
Money and Damages
- What your attorney thinks the case may be worth in a range of dollar amounts and what he or she thinks you could receive in damages at trial;
- The minimum amount you will accept to end the case and avoid trial;
- The policy limits of the defendant's insurance coverage; and
- The defendant's own monetary resources.
Questions for the Plaintiff
- How much of the settlement proceeds will be applied to your lawyer's fee and your expenses. In most personal injury cases, the attorney is paid with contingency fees meaning that you do not have to pay attorney’s fee unless you are successful at trial or there is a settlement in your favor;
- How the settlement payments will affect your federal and state income taxes. Most settlements are considered taxable income that must be reported on your tax returns. The percentage you pay depends on the circumstances of your case;
- Consider what you're willing to give up in order to get the case settled. Usually, there must be some give and take on the part of the plaintiff and defendant to negotiate a settlement that both sides will accept;
- Think about the possibility of a partial settlement. In other words, settle the easy issues first while you continue to negotiate the more difficult ones; and
- Decide whether you are willing to accept a remedy other than money;
At Maya Murphy, P.C., our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their family members and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury, whether caused by a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, a defective product, or otherwise. Our attorneys are not afraid to aggressively pursue and litigate cases and have extensive experience litigating personal injury matters in both state and federal courts, and always with regard to the unique circumstances of our client and the injury he or she has sustained. Please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq., at 203-221-3100, or at JMaya@mayalaw.com, to schedule a free consultation.
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