Settling a Long Island Car Accident Case
A Long Island car accident case can be settled before it is put into suit, which means that a case can be resolved before litigation begins. Another option is a case can be put into litigation and then is settled during the course of litigation. This happens quite frequently.
Also, a case can go to trial and there could be a verdict, but this happens less frequently. Even within cases that are settled before a trial, many of them go through a process known as mediation or arbitration.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Long Island and are looking to settle, consult with an experienced attorney immediately. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Long Island can gather the elements of the claim to help produce a successful result on your behalf.
Building a Claim
There are a number of things that a person can do with respect to being prepared when having their first interview with an attorney after a car accident. First, they should have a police report. That is the most important element to have.
Secondly, it is helpful to have photographs of the car, any injuries, and the scene of the accident. Also, it is important that an individual brings insurance information. A person should be able to provide insurance information for their vehicle if that was the vehicle involved in the accident, or insurance information for any other involved vehicle that the client was driving.
Next, a person should have copies of any invoices, receipts, or bills received from any hospitals or doctors. They should also be able to provide information regarding their employer if they were working at the time of the accident. Also, if they have had prior accidents, they should be able to provide information related to that prior accident. Often, that is very important. Those are the basic things that somebody needs to bring with them so that an attorney can help to settle their Long Island car accident case.
Settling vs. Going to Trial
The client typically makes the decision of whether to settle their Long Island car accident case or take it to trial. This is normally based on the advice of the attorney who spends a considerable amount of time calculating the benefits.
Going to trial is sometimes risky. No matter how good a person thinks their case is, the person is basically leaving the decision in the hands of a jury. There is a calculated risk when a person goes to a trial. A person could have a very good case, but a good case can go downhill at trial. There are less frequent times when a person has a very bad case and things go really well at the trial.
It typically makes more sense to try to resolve cases without going to trial. Sometimes, based upon various factors, it is necessary to go to trial, but it is smart for a client who is presented with a good settlement after their Long Island car accident to resolve it that way as opposed to going to trial.
An individual may choose to go to trial if there is no settlement offer, if there is a low settlement offer, or if the client has unforeseen future medical expenses. A person may believe the only way they are going to recover is if they go to trial. Sometimes, a client feels as though they have to go to trial on principle, which is not always the best way to think. This is because unfortunately, that takes out the common sense or the logic of settling a case.
In Long Island, like the rest of New York, the settlement process takes two people coming to an agreement in order to resolve a case. The client’s attorney, the insurance company, and/or the defense attorney will start a conversation about the settlement and discuss how they believe the case can move forward. These discussions can sometimes last for days, weeks, or months.
Sometimes, a case is settled halfway through litigation by way of mediation. Sometimes, it is settled halfway through litigation through arbitration. The timeline of these settlements are brought out by different means.
The approval of a settlement in a Long Island car accident case is always with the client. However, the client almost always relies on the attorney’s experience and understanding of previous cases with similar injuries in order to make a determination on a fair settlement.
It is usually the attorney who starts the parameters and gives the client an idea of the case value. At this point, hopefully, the attorney and the client are on the same page moving forward and negotiations are smooth when a final number is agreed upon.
Benefit of an Attorney
It is important for an individual to contact a local lawyer when looking to settle their Long Island car accident case. Local attorneys will most likely understand the makeup of juries in Long Island, which consists of both Nassau County and Suffolk County, as opposed to another lawyer in a different part of the state.
An attorney that practices in the Metropolitan area, which is considered to be Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and New York know what Nassau County and Suffolk County are like. A person certainly does not want to hire a lawyer in a different part of the state. Understanding the juries is essential in determining a fair settlement.