After a car accident, you know several things. You know the other driver was at fault. You know you are entitled to compensation. You also understand you need the help of a personal injury lawyer. In most cases, knowing these three things is enough. A good lawyer will take care of the details and ensure you get paid what you deserve. That being said, some final decisions about your case are up to you and you alone. These are big decisions concerning the way you are paid. Read on and learn more.
Two Ways to Be Paid
As long as you intend to take legal action against the at-fault driver, you can anticipate being paid one of two ways. After an accident, you can be paid using a settlement or a court judgment. Here is what to know about each of them.
Settlements: Fast and Easy
Without a doubt, the easier and fastest way to be paid after an accident is via a settlement. A settlement means you and the other side agree on a sum of money. As the victim, accepting the money means you cannot take any further action against the other driver. Be sure you understand what a settlement means to your case:
- Don't ever agree to an accident settlement without consulting with a personal injury lawyer first. It's too easy to think you are being paid what you need if you don't understand what you deserve.
- Be very sure you understand what your future medical needs are before agreeing to a settlement.
- No matter how far along in the process your case has progressed — even if the trial has started, you can be offered and accept a settlement that will bring all legal actions to a halt.
Court Judgments May Be Necessary
Going to court is not the quickest way to be paid, but it is still an option for many victims. When a settlement cannot be negotiated, going to court is next. You may end up spending more on legal costs by taking a case to trial, but you may also enjoy the closure that can come from having a judge and jury hear about your accident and rule on the case. The judgment, when speaking of personal injury cases, is actually a monetary sum. It is preferably the sum of money you asked the court to award you from the at-fault driver (and their insurer).
To learn more, speak to a car accident lawyer.