Once a Manhattan car accident victim decides to seek recourse against the driver of the at-fault vehicle in the accident, one of the things they will invariably ask is, “Am I better off settling my auto accident case or should I take it to trial?” The answer to this question is one that no one really wants to hear, but the answer is – it depends. And furthermore, this is something one will want to discuss with their personal injury attorney. The reality is that most car accident cases are settled before trial.
Settle or Go To Trial?
Settling your Manhattan car accident case brings finality to the crash that caused you so much grief and pain in the first place and allows you to put the whole thing behind you. The adjuster from the auto insurance company of the car that hit you is constantly evaluating whether settling the case is in their best interest. Generally speaking, they will start on the “low end” in making an offer to settle. The insurance adjuster is testing the waters to see if you will jump at a settlement offer that is inadequate, or at least less than what they are willing to pay. This is where your attorney’s experience, advice, and judgment are critically important. The other thing to consider is that once you settle your case, it is final. So if you have to undergo surgery following your car accident, but you already settled with the adverse driver that caused your injuries, you cannot “re-open” your case and seek additional compensation. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible and generally, have absolutely no interest in compensating you fairly or “doing the right thing.”
Another thing to consider when deciding whether to settle your case or go all the way to trial is the “venue” of your case, which means what county the case has been filed in. Most car accident lawyers will tell you that juries in the Bronx often return verdicts that are higher than the verdicts returned by juries in Westchester county in similar cases.
Taking Your Manhattan Car Accident Case to Trial
Of course, you have the right to have your auto accident case heard by a judge or jury if that is what you ultimately decide is the best course of action after discussing it with your attorney. But trials are risky. Many jurors are cynical and jaded and carry prejudices and preconceived notions about people who bring lawsuits. Many jurors think that Plaintiffs in personal injury cases are just looking for a big “winning lotto ticket” payout and are reluctant to return a fair verdict. And remember, insurance companies put their most highly skilled defense attorneys on to try the case. They will try to confuse you on the witness stand and make it seem as though you’re just looking for a big payday.
And let’s say that the jury returns a verdict that is exceptionally high. You’re very happy and are looking forward to finally receiving the check. Well, guess what’s likely on its way – an appeal. Rather than finally paying you, they may appeal and argue that the verdict returned by the jury was too high and should be reduced.
If you are injured as the result of a car accident in New York City, contact Manhattan Car Accident Lawyer Michael J. Redenburg at 212-240-9465 or go online. With more than a decade of legal experience, he has the knowledge and resources to represent you.