Legal issues. Nobody wants to deal with them, but they’re often inevitable following a negligence-related car accident that leads to serious injuries. This makes it imperative for injured parties to understand what their options are.
In any car accident case, there may be a chance for settlement or trial. Knowing how these two work and the differences can help you and your lawyer decide which is best for you and move forward with confidence.
From our experienced Austin, Texas car accident attorney Stephen Stewart of The Stewart Law Firm, here’s what you need to know about the difference between settlements and trials.
Settlements in a Texas Car Accident Case: Pros and Cons
Settlements are offers from the insurance company that pay the plaintiff a specific amount for damages after a car accident in lieu of going to trial. Typically, though, these settlements are much lower than the individual may be able to obtain via trial.
Pro: The pros of a settlement in some situations are the ability to get compensation often much quicker than going through a trial.
Con: The con, however, is that you may be able to recover more going through trial. Furthermore, you may not hold the liable party fully accountable.
Trials in a Texas Car Accident Case: Pros and Cons
A personal injury trial allows the plaintiff (injured party) to argue his or her case that the defendant (negligent party) should be held legally responsible for the injuries and harm caused. At the same time, the defendant has the chance to offer evidence to refute the injured party’s case. After both sides have presented their arguments, either a judge or a jury will examine the evidence to decide if the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s claimed injuries and how much damages the defendant must pay.
Pro: A trial may allow you to seek maximum compensation while bringing the act of negligence to the public light. You can also have the outcome of your case decided by the court and jury who you may plead your case with throughout the process.
Con: The biggest con about a trial is that you may need to go through a long and difficult process. In addition, the defendant may try to turn the tables and put the liability on you. This can be a trying time when you’re already dealing with a serious injury and associated costs.
What to Do After a Texas Car Accident
If you’re facing the aftermath of a serious Texas car accident, you may be unsure of your next best steps. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Evaluate yourself and any passengers in your car for injuries.
- Contact emergency services.
- Get evidence from the scene (photos, witness statements, contact information from the other driver).
- Seek medical attention (even if you think you don’t need it).
- Keep all your records – medical bills, vehicle repair receipts, etc.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Hire an experienced Texas car accident attorney.
Contact The Stewart Law Firm Today
Knowing which option is right for you can be difficult, but having an Austin car accident lawyer on your side means you can make the choice that puts you in the strongest position possible. This is what The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC brings to the table.
Our team is dedicated and committed to helping you seek the maximum compensation possible. We have the resources and experience you need to move forward after an injury so you can focus on recovering while we handle the legal aspects on your behalf.