When you receive the last settlement offer during personal injury negotiations, you have to decide whether to take it or go to court. When faced with such an offer, some people automatically take the offer without considering its merits and demerits. Here are three common reasons this happens:
Fear of Reliving the Injury
An injury may be so traumatizing that you want to do everything in your power to forget it. This may include accepting a settlement offer so that you don't relive the accident in court. After all, you have to testify and (possibly) get cross-examined about the cause of the accident, your pain, and the injuries you sustained.
The decision of whether or not to proceed to trial is yours. However, you should know that your car accident lawyer will train you and help you practice the court proceedings. Also, trust your attorney to object to immaterial questions that the other attorney may ask for the sake of needling you. Also, if you are too afraid to go to court, then you may not have recovered from your emotional distress. Consulting a therapist may help.
Some people also don't like going to court because of the risk of delayed compensation. Winning a court battle doesn't guarantee prompt payment of the dues. Here are some of the common reasons this may happen:
- The trial may last a long time; some cases drag on for years.
- The defendant may lack the resources to pay promptly (for example if he or she isn't insured), which may force you to initiate further court actions to collect your judgment.
- The defendant may appeal the ruling.
Again, don't let the fear of delayed compensation keep you from going to court. After all, not all cases experience delay; talking with your lawyer about the specifics of your case will help you to understand this better. The good news is that even your lawyer may be reluctant to pursue a case whose payday seems a long way off because he or she gets his or her cut from your judgment.
Practical Difficulties with Court Hearings
Lastly, you may also fear the litigation route if the accident left you disabled in some way. Remember, it is advisable to sue when you have reached the point of maximum improvement, which doesn't mean you have recovered. For example, you may be dealing with chronic pain that requires constant medication. You may also be disabled in such a way that makes sitting in court difficult, for example, if you are partially paralyzed.
If these are your fears, then rest assured that there are legal solutions to them. For example, courts take recesses to allow plaintiffs to rest or take their medication. You will also be required in court for only the necessary hearings. Talk to your attorney about your concerns; most likely he or she has thought of a solution.Share