How long will it take to settle my Colorado Springs auto accident case?
Your case cannot be settled until your attorney knows all the facts and extent of your injuries. When your case is settled, it is settled for one lump sum, and the settlement is final. If your condition worsens, or you discover additional injuries later, and you incur further medical bills or lost wages, you will not recover additional compensation.
Injury cases often take a long time to resolve. Insurance companies purposely delay to pressure the injured person and obtain a lower settlement. Court dockets are crowded, and insurance companies may wait until a case comes to trial to make a reasonable offer. It is common for some time to go by without significant developments in your case. This is normal, and you should not be alarmed.
How will my settlement be affected if it’s unclear who was at fault?
In a personal injury case, the defendant’s liability is usually based on negligence. In simple terms, negligence means that your injuries were the other party’s fault because he was careless or failed to exercise reasonable care.
If the other party’s liability will be difficult to prove, your attorney may advise you to settle for a smaller figure than would otherwise be appropriate. When the liability evidence is weak, you will need to consider the risk of losing in court and recovering nothing.
How will my settlement be affected if the accident was partly my fault?
Even though the other party was negligent, if he can prove that you were also negligent, even to a lesser degree, then a percentage will then reduce your settlement. In a few jurisdictions, you might not get any compensation.
Besides the other party’s liability and my own negligence, is there anything else I should consider in deciding whether to settle or go to court?
Another consideration in deciding whether to settle out of court is the expense of a trial. In a smaller case, sometimes the expenses will be so excessive compared to the value of the case, that an out-of-court settlement will net the injured person more in the long run.