A personal injury settlement agreement is one possible resolution for a personal injury case in Texas. It describes a signed agreement between both parties, where the plaintiff agrees to accept a financial award in exchange for releasing the defendant from further liability. A personal injury settlement prevents a case from having to go to trial to be resolved by a judge or jury.
What Is a Personal Injury Settlement Agreement?
A personal injury settlement agreement is a legally binding contract between the injured victim of an accident (the plaintiff) and the allegedly at-fault party (the defendant) or the defendant’s insurance company. It is a form that usually states the plaintiff is releasing the defendant from liability in exchange for a certain amount of financial compensation for the plaintiff’s medical bills, pain and suffering, property repairs, and lost wages.
What Are the Benefits of a Personal Injury Settlement?
A settlement agreement means the parties and/or insurance companies involved in a case resolve their dispute outside of court. They have used a form of alternative dispute resolution, such as settlement negotiation during mediation or arbitration, to compromise on how to resolve the conflict.
A settlement prevents both parties from having to present their cases before a jury in a full-blown personal injury trial. A settlement is generally more favorable, as it saves both parties time, money, and stress. You can avoid the legal fees and court costs of a trial if you achieve a settlement. It also allows both parties to remain in control of the outcome of the case.
What Is the Average Payout for a Personal Injury Settlement?
There is no accurate answer to this question; the case results for personal injury clients vary so significantly that the only way to understand what your claim is worth is by talking to an attorney. Some personal injury settlements are valued at $10,000 or less, while others climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. The value of your settlement agreement will depend on factors such as the seriousness of your injuries, your medical costs, income, age, and overall health.
How Do You Know If a Settlement Agreement Is Fair?
The best way to verify whether or not a settlement offer from an insurance company is fair is by consulting with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer in San Antonio will have your best interests in mind and will want to maximize your financial recovery. An insurance provider, on the other hand, saves money by reducing clients’ payouts.
A lawyer can review the offer from an insurer to determine if it adequately addresses your serious injuries and related losses. If not, your lawyer can make a counteroffer and negotiate back and forth with the insurance company on your behalf. An attorney will use aggressive negotiation tactics to get the best possible settlement value for your injury claim.
What Is the Average Time to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
One of the benefits of a personal injury settlement agreement vs. a trial is a shorter litigation period. Settlements are faster to achieve overall than jury verdicts at trial. The average length of time to achieve a settlement is around three months. Insurance companies in Texas have to operate on deadlines by which they must respond to claims, investigate accidents and reach decisions. This can speed up the settlement process. An injury trial, on the other hand, can take a year or longer to complete depending on the availability of the courthouse.
Do All Personal Injury Cases Settle?
No, all personal injury cases do not settle. However, the vast majority of personal injury claims reach settlement agreements out of court. Estimates place the percentage of personal injury cases that settle pretrial around 95%. If a case cannot settle successfully, however, the parties can continue their dispute via a personal injury trial.
If you have more questions about personal injury settlement agreements, contact Hill Law Firm to ask an attorney during a free consultation in San Antonio, Texas.