Visitor Question

Should I Take the Settlement Offer or Go to Trial?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Philadelphia)

I was involved in an auto accident 7 yrs ago where my wife & 3 children were in the vehicle. We were rear ended while stopped at a traffic light.

My wife was treated for about six months, the children for only 2 weeks, and myself for 7 yrs which I also had back surgery for. I’m still having pain and new symptoms arose from the surgery. I’m still being treated.

Our medical bills are more than 150k at this point. We were scheduled for a trial but they want to settle on an offer of 95k jointly instead of separate claims.

My medical bills are separate from the settlement. I don’t understand why that is but according to PI it is being handled through PIP of the other Insurance Company.

So I’d like to know should I accept this offer or go forward with trial because I believe I deserve more than this. I know the consequences of going to trial but should I take the risk since I’m still treating and with new symptoms? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Here is the problem with trial: They can be expensive.

When you are dealing with injuries, medical diagnoses and treatment, you need medical experts at trial to testify. This is not free and generally, it is quite expensive.

A physician or medical expert can range from $500.00 per day or fraction thereof and up. Depending on the number of medical providers you have seen, this can be very expensive.

So, consider this example: You walk into trial looking at an offer of $95k which is now off the table. You want to see if you can receive more in trial, however once you look at all the expenses associated therewith, you may only end up with a verdict or settlement of $95k anyway which will be reduced substantially by your trial expenses.

Even if you got a verdict that is more comparable to what you were expecting, you may ultimately end up with $95k after expenses but with the head ache of trial which can last for many weeks.

The bottom line is that trial can be a gamble and it is very costly.

These are things to consider as you make your decision.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 23, 2010

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