In New York, you have the option to settle a personal injury case or take it to trial. When you have an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side, settling your case before it goes to trial can offer several advantages. If you can obtain fair compensation for your injuries and damages through a settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance company, you have little reason not to accept the offer.
Many cases, including car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and offshore injuries, settle before they ever get to trial. If the insurance company offers an equitable settlement, both sides save time and money. However, if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith—and if your lawyer believes you have a strong case—you may have no other choice than to pursue a lawsuit.
The personal injury attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., can help you decide whether to settle your case or take it to trial. Call 631-600-0000 today to set up a free case evaluation.
When Should I Settle My Personal Injury Case?
Typically, you should accept an out-of-court settlement when you and your lawyer agree that the at-fault party or their insurance company has made a fair offer of compensation for your injuries and damages.
Sometimes, clients must make difficult choices about accepting a settlement. If, for example, you need immediate funds to get treatment and pay your bills, you may be more anxious to settle.
If our lawyers believe you have a strong case, accepting a lowball settlement offer may mean leaving money on the table. However, clients sometimes prefer having that peace of mind now, rather than taking a gamble with a trial.
Ultimately, the decision to settle—or not—is yours to make. We understand the legal complexity of your case and always have your best interests in mind. If we recommend accepting a settlement offer, it is likely because we believe that will bring you the best outcome for your case.
When Should I Take My Case to Trial?
If you have a strong case, but the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith or make a fair settlement offer, you should seriously consider taking your case to trial.
If the negotiation process is dragging on, we may recommend filing suit to motivate the insurance company—especially if the statute of limitations is almost up. After that deadline passes, we will not be able to file suit to get you compensation.
Personal injury lawyers often discuss whether a given case is “winnable.” Although having a strong, well-documented case does not guarantee you will prevail, we will not recommend going to trial unless we are confident that you have a good chance of winning.
How Long Will It Take to Get a Settlement?
Once we agree to represent you, we will begin working up your case.
This process consists of gathering key information and evidence about the accident or incident that caused your injuries. For example, if you sustained injuries in a car accident, we will obtain the police report, photographs or video of the crash, eyewitness statements, your medical records, and testimony from doctors and other subject matter experts.
We will document your claim and make a demand to the insurance company. Ideally, their lawyers will respond with an offer, initializing the negotiation process. Depending on the value of your claim and the strength of the evidence, they may offer a reasonable settlement in a few weeks. However, as the time it takes to reach an out-of-court settlement varies with every case, estimating how long you may have to wait for a check would be little more than a guess.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Trial Take?
Many clients have reservations about going to trial because they fear that the process will drag on for many months or even years.
This hesitance is understandable. People who have suffered significant injuries due to someone’s negligence may need money to pay for their medical care and household expenses—especially if they cannot work due to their injuries.
Many lawsuits work their way through the trial process fairly quickly, especially with help from our proactive attorneys who are ready to present your case in court. However, you always face the risk that the at-fault party’s insurance company and their lawyers will attempt to drag the process out.
If we have strong evidence to prove the at-fault party’s negligence, your trial may conclude in just a few months—especially if you are not seeking an especially large settlement. If you are seeking a significant amount of compensation, or if establishing negligence will be more difficult, the process could potentially drag on for a year or more.
How Can I Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York?
The personal injury lawyers of Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., can help you negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial. Call 631-600-0000 today to discuss your case.