Car Accident Settlements

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What Are Car Accident Settlements?

A car accident settlement is an agreement that one party will be responsible for paying for the losses suffered by another party in a car accident. This is sometimes done in connection with trial.  For instance, evidence may surface that makes it likely that one party was responsible for the accident. The parties may then form an agreement regarding the amount of money to be paid. This can help shorten the entire legal process, and can save the parties in terms of court fees and other expenses.

Sometimes, the parties may choose to settle before the case actually begins. This is called “pre-trial settlement” and is also a way for the parties to avoid the costs associated with litigation. Settlements can cover issues such as: payment for injuries; payment for damage to property; costs of court expenses; and other expenses.  Car accident settlements can also happen outside of court before a lawsuit is even filed. 

Are Car Accident Settlements Required?

No- car accident settlements are not required by courts. However, they are highly encouraged by the court, as it tends to save the court as well in terms of time and resources. On the other hand, an auto accident settlement may not always be an option, especially if the parties have a disagreement that they can’t resolve on their own.

In such cases, the parties will have to undergo the entire litigation process and wait for the decision that the court reaches. It all depends on the needs of the parties, as well as the facts surrounding the circumstances.

Are There Different Kinds of Car Accident Settlements?

All settlements are basically the same, but there are major differences in the way that the settlements are paid out to the plaintiff. In a lump-sum payment, the plaintiff collects their entire settlement amount all at once. This allows them to collect the total amount, although there may be serious tax consequences involved with this option.

Another option is to choose a structured settlement, in which the payments are made on a regular, cyclical basis (such as monthly). Here, the disadvantage is that he plaintiff can’t collect on all their money, even if they have pressing need for it in the near future.  Selling a structured settlement is sometimes possible, which allows the person to collect more money at once. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Car Accident Settlement?

Whether in-court or out of court, a settlement usually requires the help of a lawyer. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer for help with your case. Your attorney can provide you with valuable legal guidance and representation in court.  Also, your lawyer can assist during negotiations in order to help you obtain a favorable settlement amount. 

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Last Modified: 05-11-2015 04:10 PM PDT

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