When our Albany accident attorneys meet with a client for the first time, they usually have a lot of questions. The first question they ask is how much their car accident case is worth. The second question they ask is how long it will take to settle their case.
Here, we’ll discuss how the settlement process works. If you still have questions about your own car accident case, contact our car accident lawyers in Albany at any time.
How Many Car Accident Lawsuits Settle Out of Court?
Some people are surprised to learn that more than 95% of all car accident cases settle out of court. People who have never been involved in a lawsuit assume that these cases go to trial. They envision going in front of a jury and telling them their version of what happened.
In reality, this rarely happens. Even cases that are slotted for trial often settle at the last minute. Not only do both parties want to settle, but the judge encourages the parties to settle at every turn. The fewer cases the judge has to hear, the better.
When Does It Make Sense for Your Albany Accident Attorney to Negotiate a Settlement?
In most of the cases our Albany accident attorneys handle, it’s in the best interest of our client to negotiate a settlement. Very few of our clients can afford to wait for a year or more to go by without any compensation.
If your injuries are serious enough, you may be out of work for some time. Depending on your work situation, you may not have any income during this time. The sooner we can get our clients a lump sum of money, the sooner they can start paying their bills and carry on with their lives.
Very Rarely Would Your Car Accident Lawyer in Albany Want to Go to Trial
There are very few circumstances when your car accident lawyer in Albany would want to go to trial. Not only are trials expensive but they are time consuming. While your lawyer is working on your case, they usually don’t have time to work on any other cases.
Your Albany accident attorney also understands that there’s a chance you could lose at trial. No matter how strong you may think your case is, there’s no way to know how a judge will see things. If you go to trial and lose, you’ll walk away with nothing.
The Insurance Company Will Be Just as Motivated to Settle as You
You may be just as surprised to learn that the insurance company is also eager to settle. They don’t want to have to tie up their legal team for months on end. They certainly don’t want to go to trial and risk losing.
If the defendant loses at trial, their auto insurance will have to pay your full damages. They don’t want to take that chance.
They would much rather settle for a lesser amount. They would also rather get the matter resolved quickly. This way, they can close the claim and move on to other matters.
You Can Never Be Sure of Exactly When Your Case Will Settle
As much as our car accident lawyers in Albany would love to tell our clients when their cases will settle, we just don’t know. Some cases settle within a matter of days or weeks. Other cases don’t settle until the day of trial.
As the case progresses, it becomes easier to determine if and when a case will settle. For example, your Albany accident attorney may attend mediation with the defendant and their attorney. This could spark settlement negotiations. If it does, then you may have an idea early on as to when your case will be resolved.
It Depends on How Many Defendants Were Named in Your Lawsuit
One factor that can impact how long it takes to settle your case is the number of defendants. If you were involved in a multi-vehicle accident, there may be multiple defendants and multiple insurance companies involved.
The greater the number of parties involved in the case, the longer it will take to hash out a settlement. The defendants will not agree on which of them bears the brunt of the responsibility for the crash. These cases can become very complex and are not always the easiest to settle.
The Size of Your Claim Can Also Impact How Long It Takes to Settle
Another factor that can affect your settlement is the size of your claim. If your claim is relatively small, the insurance company won’t want to spend a lot of time on it. However, if your claim is large, the insurance company will be more willing to spend the money defending the claim.
The one positive thing about having a large claim is that the insurance carrier does not want to be ordered to pay the whole thing. They know it’s in their best interest to negotiate a settlement at some point before trial. It’s just a matter of when this will happen.
Your Car Accident Lawyer in Albany Will Attempt to Settle Your Case All the Way Until Trial
Even if it takes some time, don’t get discouraged. Your Albany accident attorney can still settle your case all the way up until trial. In fact, before the judge even starts the trial, they will give the parties one final chance to work something out amongst themselves.
Every now and then, your car accident lawyer in Albany must play a game of chicken almost with the insurance company. It may seem like neither party wants to compromise.
However, the good news is that settlements are reached in all but about 5% of personal injury cases.
Call Us Today to See if You Have a Valid Claim!
A lot of people involved in a car accident assume that they have a strong case against the other driver. They don’t realize that many of these cases settle long before they get their day in court. In fact, most of the cases our Albany accident attorneys handle settle at some point. Very rarely do we take a car accident case to trial.
Unfortunately, not all accident victims have a valid claim for damages. It all depends on how serious your injuries are. It also depends on the insurance company’s stance on who was at fault. Whether your case will end up settling depends on how strong a case you have.
We suggest you contact our Albany accident attorneys before you get too excited about filing suit against the other motorist. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation.
This will give you the chance to see if you have a valid case and, if you do, whether there’s a good chance it will settle out of court.