Car Accident Settlements in Durham
Learn More About the Pros & Cons of Settling Your Claim
After being injured in a
motor vehicle accident, you may be faced with many new and unfamiliar issues. While litigating a
car accident case can be a lengthy, drawn-out process, settling your claim can result in
a quicker resolution and, in turn, less time to receive your recovery.
A settlement is a formal, final, and written resolution of a dispute between
two or more parties without the use of typical judicial intervention through
hearings or a trial. Although this sounds complicated, the reality is
that settlements are significantly less complicated than the lengthy and
costly alternative of pursuing litigation. There are several pros and
cons to settling your claim, which we will discuss in more length below.
To speak to an experienced car accident attorney in Durham about your particular
case, please call Wallace Pierce Law at
(919) 887-7892 or
contact us online using our free case evaluation form.
What Is a Settlement?
A “settlement” is a term of art that refers to a formal and
final resolution of an actual controversy between two or more parties
without judicial intervention through a hearing or trial. While this may
sound incredibly complicated, the reality is that settlements are significantly
less complicated than the alternative of a lawsuit and legal proceedings.
Settlements are typically considered voluntary, in that the parties mutually
agree to resolve a dispute out of court. While a settlement will often
involve the defendant agreeing to pay a defined sum of money to the plaintiff,
the plaintiff will also be agreeing to sign a release of liability in
favor of the defendant. It is worth noting that settlements can happen
at any time; however, timing is still very important to both the defendant
and the plaintiff. Regardless, both parties to a settlement will naturally
seek to reach a settlement that they regard as fair and reasonable in
light of the facts and circumstances as they understand them.
Advantages of Settling Out of Court
A significant majority of compensable
personal injury claims settle out of court, and there are several good reasons for this fact.
However, the basic rationale for why most personal injury claims settle
out of court can be reduced to the fact that settlements are faster than
trials, less expensive, and significantly less risky. Let’s explore
this a little further:
Trials Cost Time & Money
If you have been injured in a car accident, you have the right to seek
a trial by a jury of your peers. Most people acknowledge and understand
how complicated trials and court proceedings can be, so the typical person
will hire an attorney on a contingency fee. Naturally, there are other
types of attorney fee structures, but contingency fee agreements are the
We created the contingency fee calculator to show how expensive paying
a personal injury attorney one-third, for example, of the total reward
can be. However, it is worth reiterating that most North Carolina personal
injury attorney’s retainer agreements say that the attorney’s
fees are one-third of any pre-trial settlement awards and 40 percent of
all sums recovered once litigation ensues. This means that once you file
a lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer may receive as much as 40 percent
of all sums recovered.