Settling a DC Car Accident Case
There are many steps needed to settle a car accident case. Immediately following medical attention, it is best to retain the services of a seasoned and dedicated car accident attorney. A lawyer could help the claimant weigh their legal options. Call today to discuss your rights and options for settling a DC car accident case.
How is a Settlement Calculated?
A settlement takes into consideration a claimant’s damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. All of that should be compensable. A settlement is calculated by considering the liability in the accident and how much fault is attributed to the negligent party.
The amount of property damage sustained by the vehicles in an auto accident is considered and the venue or where the case would have to be litigated. If the venue is a more conservative jurisdiction, then the settlement offer is likely to be less than it would be in a jurisdiction which is known to give out higher judgments.
In addition to those factors, the injury is also considered when determining a settlement amount. If the injured party requires surgery, but their vehicle was destroyed, then the value of the claim is considerably higher than somebody who has sustained minimal property damage and has soft tissue injuries.
Does a Jury Have Any Involvement In The Way a Settlement Is Calculated?
In a case, a jury is given instructions by the court, and the jury would have to decide how much of the medical bills that they consider to be fair and reasonable and related to the accident, how much separately for pain and suffering, how much should the claimant get for wage loss reimbursement.
The jury uses these factors when considering the settlement amount, but regarding medical bills, there may be some dispute about what is reasonable and necessary. There may be testimony from the defense which says that the charges were excessive and there are questions with the judge and/or jury would have to determine.
Types of Cases that Settle
The injured person should decide whether they understand their options for litigating a case, whether the time involved in the process is worth the risk, and if it is better to settle the claim. Any case can settle so long as liability is not an issue. Of course, you should only accept a settlement offer if it a proportionate to your injuries and your attorney advises you to. While this is not an exhaustive list, below are common examples of cases that settle in DC:
Length of Time to Settle a Claim
The time it takes to settle a car accident case in DC can vary. Once an attorney receives all of the medical records and bills and lost wage documentation and everything is sent to the at fault insurance carrier, an offer is usually forthcoming in four to six weeks.
What Are The Steps To Take To Ensure A Settlement Is Received In A Timely Manner?
As long as a claimant is as cooperative and responsive with their lawyer as practical, then that is the most important thing that a claimant can do to expedite the case. If the claimant moves, provide or changes their telephone number, provide current contact information, and email so that a lawyer can reach the claimant with an offer of settlement.
Also, if a client goes to a different medical provider and has not told their lawyer about the provider, and then the lawyer has to request bills, records of that provider. If the lawyer does not know about it until the claimant has completed treatment in a month or two prior, this will delay the process. Keeping the lawyer up to date about the claimant’s whereabouts, contact information and treatment are essential to keep the case moving.
Call A DC Car Accident Attorney
An experienced DC car accident lawyer understands what type, not only with cases that are similar settle for, but more importantly what those types of cases are typically resolved for by way of jury trial or a trial in front of a judge. There are many things to consider when accepting or rejecting a settlement. To understand that decision, you have to fully understand the cost of litigating and the risk of doing better, and the time frame involved. You do not need to handle your case alone. Schedule a consultation with the legal team at Gelb & Gelb, P.C. to discuss your legal options for settling a car accident case in DC.