What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Most Virginia personal injury claims never reach trial. Instead, most claims are settled before trial, or even before filing suit. Settlement is a common negotiation process that ends in the injured person (referred to as the plaintiff) giving up the right to sue in exchange for the payment of a sum of money by the party who caused the injury (referred to as the defendant.)

 A personal injury settlement is a legally binding agreement reached between the injured party (plaintiff) and the party at fault (defendant) in a personal injury case. This settlement is often the result of negotiations that occur outside of a formal court trial and is intended to resolve the dispute without the need for protracted litigation. The following is a brief overview of the different factors involved in a settlement. For more detailed information, contact a Virginia injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp.

Components of a Personal Injury Settlement

The primary purpose of a personal injury settlement is to provide compensation to the injured party for the harm and losses they have suffered due to the defendant’s negligence or wrongful actions. This compensation typically covers various damages, including the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages if they were unable to work while they recovered – as well as any future earning capacity if applicable, pain and suffering, permanent disability, scarring, and more.

In exchange for the agreed-upon compensation, the injured party typically agrees to release the defendant from any further liability or legal claims related to the incident. This means the injured party cannot pursue additional legal action against the defendant for the same injury.

Advantages of a Personal Injury Settlement

Settling a personal injury case is generally faster than going through a full trial, which can take months or even years to complete. Litigation can be expensive due to legal fees, court costs, and expert witness expenses. Settlements often save both parties money.

With a settlement, both parties have more control over the outcome. It avoids the uncertainty of a trial where a judge or jury’s decision is unpredictable. Settlements also allow the parties to keep the details of the case confidential, protecting their privacy.

When Can I Settle?

Sometimes, the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company will make the injured party a settlement offer right away. But the parties may settle at any point during the case, even if the case has reached the trial stage and the court has heard the evidence, up to the jury verdict being announced.

If the defendant makes a settlement offer at the outset, it is important for the plaintiff to consult with a Virginia personal injury attorney before agreeing to any amount. The attorney will be able to help you understand the strengths of your case and the fairness of the offer. In most situations, if a settlement offer is made right away, it is likely much lower than what the victim is actually entitled to for all the losses their injuries have caused them.

How Much Can I Get?

The amount of the settlement depends upon the facts of the case. A settlement agreement involves negotiation between the parties, which means that both parties need to be informed about the merits of the case. Both sides will examine documentation and evidence relating to the amount of the injured person’s harm and the degree of the defendant’s fault. They may look at medical records, pay stubs, witness statements, and property repair bills to determine the value of financial losses and examine evidence to figure out the value of the injured party’s pain, suffering, and other intangible losses.

In order to settle, both sides must compromise and agree on a dollar value for the claim. The lawyer for the injured party will negotiate with the lawyer for the defendant or with the insurance company, and the parties will come to an acceptable financial agreement.

If both sides are unable to negotiate a fair settlement amount, the victim’s attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit and a judge or jury will decide how much the victim should receive.

Call Our Office Today

If you are considering settling a personal injury claim or have received a settlement offer, it is important to consult an attorney. An experienced Virginia personal injury attorney will evaluate your case and determine what your legal options may be.

It is critical to remember that Virginia has placed a statute of limitation on how long victims have to file a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for their injuries, so do not delay. Failure to file before that legal deadline could mean you lose any chance of ever filing your claim or getting justice against the person responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries.

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.