Settling Early May Have Some Unique Benefits During the Pandemic
Roughly 97% of all civil cases end before trial due to settlements. Often, plaintiffs decline the first settlement offer and hold out in hopes of getting something better. With the pandemic changing the personal injury legal process so much, however, some are starting to wonder if they should accept an early settlement instead.
You’ll Need to Be Prepared for Delays If You Take the Case to Court
Before making a decision, you should consider your preferred timeline. Many people are considering settling now due to the huge delay in courts. If you need money to help with expenses as soon as possible, the idea of spending months waiting for a court date can be very worrying. It is true that personal injury cases are taking far longer than they usually do. Most courts are only open right now to handle emergencies, so you might not even get in front of a judge before the year is up. Settling early may mean you get less money, but everyone’s financial situation is different. For some people, getting a smaller payment now can be more helpful than waiting a while for a big one.
It May Be Harder to Collect Your Payment If You Wait
Your Morristown personal injury lawyer may recommend that you consider the financial state of the other party when thinking about early settlement during the pandemic. There is currently a risk that the at-fault party in your lawsuit might face financial challenges during the virus. For example, if you slipped on a puddle of melted ice cream in a restaurant, you might run into problems when the restaurant closes during the pandemic. Instead of just collecting your payment, you may have to join a long list of creditors and end up getting barely anything. In these sorts of cases, agreeing to an early settlement can actually be the option that nets you the most compensation.
Determining a Fair Compensation for Injuries Is Trickier Right Now
An early coronavirus personal injury settlement is usually a bad idea in cases involving injuries. Right now, many health care facilities are only treating immediate problems. This means that you might have to delay things like followup appointments or physical therapy. However, these sorts of non-critical health care visits are a very important part of any personal injury suit settlement. Without them, you may not have a full scope of your injuries. This makes it harder to create a complete picture of the damages you received. You could ultimately end up accepting a settlement that does not fully reflect the injury you faced, leaving you struggling to pay future medical bills or compensate for lost wages.
You Still Risk Being Lowballed
Just like a lawsuit during normal times, early settlements tend to be for lower amounts. If you have a sound case, you can end up with a larger settlement or court-ordered payout. Therefore, it may still be a good idea to keep negotiating with the other party. As long as both you and the other party have sound finances, you could find it beneficial to reject a lowball settlement. If you’re unsure whether a settlement is a good idea, take the time to talk it over with your attorney. Legal counsel can give you a realistic idea of outcomes for your case so you can make the best decision for your needs.
If you’re dealing with a personal injury case during COVID, having an experienced attorney on your side makes a huge difference. A Morristown personal injury lawyer can help you decide when to settle while navigating the changes to court schedules. The Law Firm of Gregg Wisotsky is here to help during these challenging times. We can provide remote consultations and discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your case. To learn more about our services, dial (973) 898-0161 or fill out our online contact form.
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