Most people understand that there’s a good chance their car accident case is going to end in an out-of-court settlement. Nobody wants to go to court, including your Atlanta car accident lawyer. Trials are expensive and time consuming. Plus, when you go to trial, there’s always the chance that you could lose. Rather than risk that, it’s a good idea to think about settling your case. This means you’ll be getting less than your full demand. However, it may be well worth it in the end.
When you first meet with your Atlanta car accident attorney, they’ll do a few things. First, they review your case to see if you even have a valid claim. Just because you were involved in a car accident, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to damages. The second thing they’ll do is look to see what the current status of your case is. Have you already received a settlement offer from the defendant’s insurance company? Have they decided to file a counterclaim? These things are important. It’s the only way for your attorney to know how to best proceed.
The last thing your attorney will do is look to see what your case may be worth. To do this, they’ll look at what sorts of damages you’re entitled to. Once they do this, they’ll figure out the total amount you should demand in your lawsuit. They can typically do this at some point after your free, initial consultation.
What Types of Damages Are You Entitled To?
One of the first questions car accident victims have for their attorney is – how much is their claim worth? This is a fair question. After all, the only reason you hired a car accident lawyer in Atlanta was to get compensation for your injuries. After they review your case, they’ll give you an idea of what sort of damages you may be entitled to. This could include some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Depending on how serious your injuries are, the total damages for your case may be quite high. The lion’s share of your damages may be made up of pain and suffering. These damages can be hard to prove. There’s nothing tangible to prove that you suffered any physical or mental anguish. It’s not something the jury can add up on paper. This means that, when your attorney discusses a settlement with the insurance company, there’s a good chance the pain and suffering damages may get whittled down.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Will Try to Settle Your Case
As we said earlier, most car accident cases settle long before trial. In fact, more than 95% of all personal injury cases do settle at some point. When you settle, it means you’re willing to accept less than your full demand. Let’s consider a case where you demanded $250,000. About $150,000 of this includes pain and suffering damages. The defendant doesn’t believe they should have to pay more than $100,000. In order to come to an out of court settlement, your attorney and the defendant agree to settle for the sum of $175,000. Now, this isn’t the amount you asked for. In your lawsuit, you demanded $250,000.
You may not want to take such a low amount. And, if you don’t want to settle, your Atlanta car accident lawyer isn’t going to force you to. Neither will the judge. However, it’s important that you understand that the judge doesn’t have to approve your settlement at all. It’s rare for a judge to turn down a settlement. However, it does happen every now and then. They typically only do this when the plaintiff has no attorney. The judge may want to make sure they aren’t being taken advantage of. For the most part, however, judges are happy to hear that a case has been settled. It’s one less case that can clog up his docket.
Talk to a Seasoned Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta as Soon as Possible
You may ask yourself – if there’s a good chance my case will settle, why should I hire a car accident attorney in Atlanta? Nobody likes the fact that they have to pay their attorney a certain percentage of their settlement. However, you need to keep in mind – the chances of getting a fair settlement go down if you don’t have an attorney. The insurance adjustor isn’t going to take you seriously if you’re not represented. They may want to take their chances at trial knowing they have the advantage over you. So call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.