Having an accident which impacts on your life is stressful. When you are trying to cover medical costs and need to take time off work to recover, it is important that you know what your financial options are. Personal injury attorneys help people who have been through an accident and now seek recourse from the other person who caused it. Before you meet with a personal injury attorney, there are details you need to gather so the attorney can help you with your case. These posts are all about what accident and personal injury attorneys do, what they need from you, and the different situations where using one is beneficial to your lifestyle.
If you have been injured by a careless driver, there are more ways than one to be paid the money damages you deserve. Both settlements and court judgments deliver monetary compensation to accident victims but they do so quite differently. Read on to find out more about each of these payment methods.
Know the Differences Between the Two
Settlements and judgments differ in several ways. As far as accident victims are concerned, a settlement can be far better than a judgment simply due to the timely manner in which things can be resolved. With a settlement, you can be paid in a short amount of time, perhaps a few weeks. With a court judgment, you might have to wait for many months to be paid. With settlements being quicker, they are also a lot easier on the victim. There are no stressful court appearances to worry about. That being said, though, not all auto accident cases can be settled and many have to go to court.
Money Matters with Settlements and Judgments
In almost all cases, the compensation you get with a settlement is much the same as what you might get with a court judgment. However, court judgments also cost money whereas settlements don't have any court costs associated with them. While settlements are entirely legal and can be enforced in a court of law, they are largely drawn up by lawyers and signed in front of witnesses—away from the eyes of the judge and jury. Another monetary issue concerns the legal costs for representation. Most lawyers will quote you a fee based on the case settling. If the case goes to court, the lawyer has to do a lot more work, which will likely change their fee.
In certain cases, it can be more financially advantageous to take a case to court. When a court judgment is awarded, you are paid for your pain and suffering in addition to the damages paid. With a court judgment, though, you can also be paid punitive damages. Not all cases rate punitive damages, only when those cases merit more attention, are perpetrated by someone with deep pockets, or when an example needs to be made of certain bad behavior. For instance, if you were hit by a pizza delivery driver who was late with a delivery, you might be awarded punitive damages.
For information about judgments vs. court settlements after your auto accident, speak to your personal injury lawyer.Share
9 July 2021