Should I Settle My Chicago Car Accident Claim?

Should I Settle My Chicago Car Accident Claim?Being involved in a car accident can be a distressing experience, often leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma and financial burdens. A big question Chicago residents often have after being involved in a car accident is whether or not they should seek an insurance settlement or go to trial.

First let’s consider the term “settling.” Typically, settling involves reaching an agreement with the insurance company representing the party at fault in the accident. In most cases, after a car accident occurs, the victim and their trusted personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement.

The insurance company, on behalf of the at-fault driver, aims to resolve the claim by offering a settlement amount intended to cover the damages resulting from the accident. These expenses will include documented medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

With that, if you’ve been in a car accident in Chicago and are considering whether to settle your claim or go to trial, there are several factors to take into account.

Pros and cons of seeking a settlement after your car accident

Pros of settling your claim

  • Timely resolution: Settling a car accident claim can expedite the compensation process for your injuries and damages. If your injuries are minor and heal rapidly, such as a broken arm or soft tissue injuries, settling can help you avoid prolonged legal proceedings. After assessing your injuries, think about what you value more; prompt payment or potentially optimized compensation. The trial process has the potential for more far-reaching compensation, while a settlement’s great benefit is convenience.
  • Lower costs: While a trial may offer greater compensation than a settlement, it can be lengthy and expensive, involving legal fees and court costs. By settling, you can avoid some of these additional costs, ensuring that you retain a larger portion of the compensation.
  • Greater predictability: Settling a claim provides a degree of certainty. The negotiated settlement amount is agreed upon by both parties, eliminating the uncertainty and risks associated with trial outcomes. This predictability allows you to plan and move forward with your life more confidently. Confidence goes hand-in-hand with having an experienced team of attorneys on your side, who can guide you through the settlement process. Their knowledge from previous cases will prove invaluable when it comes to reaching a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Cons of settling your claim

  • Potential undervaluation: Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their primary goal is to optimize profits; thus they are not eager to pay out generous settlements. As a matter of fact, the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster’s primary job role is to minimize settlement payments. By settling, you might be relinquishing the opportunity to pursue further compensation for ongoing medical treatments, rehabilitation, or future expenses.
  • Incomplete compensation: Settling a claim often means accepting a lump-sum payment. This can be advantageous for immediate financial needs, but it may not cover long-term costs or account for future complications arising from the accident. Going to trial could potentially secure a larger compensation package.
  • Lost right to pursue further litigation: Once a settlement is accepted, you typically waive your right to pursue further legal action related to the accident. If unforeseen injury complications occur after your accident, like secondary brain injury – which has a delayed onset, with often devastating effects – settling might leave you without recourse for seeking proper compensation for your injury.

Pros and cons of going to trial after your car accident

Pros of going to trial

  • Pursuing maximum compensation: If your injuries are severe, with long-term implications or significant medical expenses, going to trial could potentially secure a more appropriate financial recovery. Trials offer the opportunity to present your case to a jury, which may result in a more favorable judgment and higher compensation, especially when it is evident that your injuries will have a lasting effect.
  • Strong cases with strong lawyers win: Going to trial allows you to utilize the experience of your Chicago personal injury. They will gather evidence, build a strong case and advocate for your rights throughout the litigation process. If your case is strong, the car accident attorneys at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers can help earn your compensation for all of your injuries and damages moving into the future. Read our testimonials to see how we have helped your Chicago neighbors after their car accident.

Cons of going to trial

  • Time-consuming process: Trials can be lengthy, often spanning months or even years. This can add emotional stress and prolong the resolution of your case, potentially delaying the financial compensation you need to recover from the accident.
  • Uncertain outcome: Trials involve an element of uncertainty, as the final verdict rests in the hands of a jury or judge. The outcome might not always align with your expectations or the full extent of your damages. This uncertainty can be mitigated through settlement negotiations.
  • Potentially high costs: Litigation costs, including legal fees, expert witnesses (such as crash reconstruction experts, physicians demonstrating the long-term implications of an injury, etc.), court fees and other expenses, can accumulate throughout the trial process. If your financial resources are limited, going to trial might be difficult to afford.

The team of attorneys at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers are ready to review and discuss your case to see if your best option is to reach a settlement with the insurance company or to pursue legal action.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, call the experienced team at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers to make an informed decision after your accident. Don’t let the stress of your accident slow you from seeking justice. Contact us today for your free consultation at our Chicago office.