|In the United States, personal injury claims are given a statute limitation of two (2) years before the claim is outlawed. Within this period, one must obtain a lawyer and file a case before going to trial in court.
Most people find this quite a hassle. Hiring a lawyer takes not only a lot of money, but also demands a considerable amount of time and energy to set up meetings and, of course, show up in court. Because of this, many clients resort to “settlements”, or dealing with the case before going to trial.
Of course, this doesn’t mean settlement happens “outside of court”. This only means that cases are settled “before going to trial”, meaning the case has already been filed. 99% of cases filed in court often reach a settlement before the trial.
Settling before going to court can be tricky. Oftentimes people make the wrong move and get a lower settlement price, or lose more money because they refused to settle.
Settlement usually happens when a date is set—a courtroom and judge are already scheduled, and the case is ready to go to court. This is when defendants usually consider to settle, in case they feel they are risking more if the trial pushes through.
Just remember to never tell the insurance company or your lawyer that you are interested in an early settlement. You will end up getting a low price because the other party will assume that since your goal is to settle. Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to settlements—higher settlement prices are given as the trial date draws nearer.
It would be of great help to get a lawyer who pushes aggressively for a trial—attorneys with a reputation for agreeing on early settlements are not worth your time or money. Pick a lawyer with a reputable history of taking cases to trial.
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