There are generally two ways that a personal injury case can be settled with those who are at fault, outside or inside of court. Many attempt the first, before tackling the latter. This is usually to save both time and money. Sometimes the latter is preferred, for one of many reasons, as outlined below.
Outside of court
When a personal injury case is settled outside of court, the insurer or defendant makes an offer to pay the person who was injured. The offer may be made at any time, before or even after a lawsuit was filed. As long as no verdict has been made, it could still be offered. The jury could be deliberating, and an offer be made. Once an agreement, also known as a settlement, is reached, the plaintiff signs a full liability release, relinquishing all future claims. If more expenses involved appear later, the injured person will not be able to sue or attempt to collect any more funds. In general settlements are often offered when insurance is involved, which is very common in personal injury cases.
This process may be started by either party, and can often go back and forth for some time, as the parties involve attempt to reach an agreement. It may even go right up to the point when the jury is deliberating before an agreement is made. All components of the settlement, legal fees included, must be settled before that settlement is considered a binding and final legal document.
In addition, there may be a limit to how much the insurance would even pay out for. If there is, for example, a limit of $200,000, and the demand is for $500,000 will the overage of $300,000 ever be paid? Could the individual or individuals ever come up with those kinds of funds? Those funds, even if awarded, may not be something that one is ever able to collect. The process of collecting could be long and quite problematic.
Also, this process can drag on so long, that sometimes one must push for the second option, a civil lawsuit. There is a time limit on when this can be filed, and a statute of limitations as to when it is too late to be filed.
Going through a civil lawsuit
This route is often taken when the injured person is not able to obtain compensation from those they have deemed at fault for their injury, or they haven’t offered an amount that the injured party or parties considers reasonable. In other instances the injured party may be more concerned to have their day in court, and make a point, rather than the actual collecting of funds.
Consulting a Dallas personal injury lawyer will help with making weighting one’s options, and help to make a legal and informed decision in regards to resolution of any personal injury case. The process can be convoluted and frustrating, having a guide is a strong step towards simplifying.