You can think of a personal injury settlement as a contract between the victim and the at-fault party’s insurance company. In a car accident case, the settlement is usually between the victim and his or her insurance company, as Pennsylvania is a no-fault state.
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties that benefits both parties in some way. In the case of a personal injury settlement, a settlement compensates the victim and releases the insurance company from future liability for the incident in question.
There are several other things you should know about settlement agreements, including what happens after the settlement is signed. You also need to be sure the settlement covers all the damages you suffered.
If you have any questions about settling your personal injury claim, or the insurance company is not making a fair offer, our experienced attorneys are here to assist you. There are no upfront costs and we do not get paid unless you receive compensation. Like you, our goal is to secure maximum compensation for your damages.
Defining a Personal Injury Settlement
A personal injury settlement is a contract in which compensation is exchanged for the resolution of a claim against an at-fault party, usually an insurance company.
Typically, the settlement is the result of a negotiation between the victim and his or her attorney. Your attorney sends a demand letter, outlining the facts of the case and the compensation you are seeking. The insurance company either accepts or rejects the offer or it makes a counteroffer. The victim’s attorney and the insurance company may go back and forth several times before reaching an agreement.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Settlement Agreements?
One of the main advantages of a settlement is that you can avoid going to court, meaning your claim should be resolved sooner. Going to court can be a bad idea because you are leaving the case in the hands of a jury, and you do not know if they will award all the compensation you are seeking. By accepting a settlement offer, you know you are at least getting something.
However, accepting a settlement may not always be the best idea, particularly if it does not cover all your damages. Sometimes going to court may be a good idea because it may be the only way to obtain the compensation you need.
You should work with an experienced lawyer who regularly takes cases to court. Even if you do not need to go through an entire trial to recover compensation, having a lawyer file a lawsuit could be the push that is needed to get the insurance company to agree to your settlement demands.
The licensed Harrisburg personal injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are here to help determine your legal options. We are prepared to go to court if necessary. We know how important it is for victims to recover full compensation so they can move forward.
Determining if a Settlement Offer is Fair
It is important to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney. Injury victims often assume an attorney will be unable to help them when that is not true.
At Schmidt Kramer, we are dedicated to securing the compensation you need to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages and compensate you for the emotional toll of your injuries. The insurance company is committed to protecting its profits, which means you cannot trust their assessment of the value of your claim. It is in their best interest to make a lowball offer.
You need to make sure a settlement offer will provide the compensation you need because once you sign the offer, you will be unable to pursue compensation from the insurance company.
What Does It Mean When an Insurer is Released From Liability?
There would be no point in signing a settlement offer unless the insurance company knows it will not face further claims about the same accident. That is why settlement offers include a release from liability for the insurance company.
There may be some exceptions when you can file a claim after accepting a settlement, such as if another party bears liability for your injury. You may also be able to reopen a claim if you can prove you were coerced into accepting a settlement or if the insurance company committed fraud.
What Happens After Agreeing to a Settlement?
Once both parties sign the agreement, any liens need to be taken care of. For example, you may have had liens placed on the settlement by medical providers. Attorney fees also need to be paid out before the victim receives compensation.
How Long Does It Usually Take to Agree to a Settlement?
Many personal injury cases are resolved after a few months, often between three and six months. However, cases could take more or less time depending on several factors, such as the severity of injuries and how cooperative the insurance company is. Cases will take longer if they go to court, as a court date must be scheduled and there are many steps before a trial begins.
Contact Schmidt Kramer for Assistance with Your Claim
The licensed attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are ready to help you pursue full compensation for your damages. There are no upfront fees for our services, and we do not get paid unless our clients get paid.
Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. We have secured millions on behalf of injury victims throughout Pennsylvania. Check out our client reviews page to see what past clients said about their experience working with us to resolve their claims.
Schmidt Kramer. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call (717) 727-2550.