Factors That Can Affect a Decatur Car Accident Settlement

One way in which the parties involved in a car accident lawsuit may resolve their claims is through a settlement agreement. In the typical settlement agreement, the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff a certain sum of compensatory damages. In exchange, the plaintiff usually dismisses any lawsuit and forgoes taking any further legal action against the defendant in connection with the wreck.

There are numerous circumstances and factors that can affect a Decatur car accident settlement. Such factors may influence the terms of the settlement agreement or whether the parties reach any settlement at all.

Evidence of Fault is Highly Influential in Settlements

Defendants in car accident cases may be more interested in pursuing a settlement with an injured plaintiff where there is objective evidence putting the defendant at-fault for causing the wreck. Defendants who do seek an agreement under these circumstances may be attempting to limit the amount of damages and other expenses they would have to pay if they were to litigate the matter and lose.

Similarly, a lack of evidence indicating the defendant is culpable for causing the wreck may make the plaintiff more inclined to pursue a settlement. In so doing, the plaintiff may be eager to obtain some compensation through a settlement rather than risk losing at trial and receiving no damages at all.

Financial Implications of a Lawsuit are Also Important Factors in Settlements

The financial situation of the parties may also play a role in settlement negotiations. Where the costs of litigating the matter may be significant, a defendant may end up spending considerable amounts of money even if they obtain a favorable outcome. Similarly, a plaintiff may not receive as much compensation as they might otherwise expect or receive such compensation as quickly as they need. The parties may instead choose to settle the case as opposed to incurring these costs and the uncertainties of litigation.

Not only this, but plaintiffs who have limited financial resources may be more inclined to seek a settlement. This is because these plaintiffs may need monetary damages quickly to meet their expenses and costs, and may see a settlement offer as a way to receive this goal.

Other Factors that May Affect a Settlement Agreement

Beyond these considerations, other facts and circumstances that may determine whether the plaintiff and defendant in a Decatur car accident lawsuit will settle and, if so, the terms of such settlement:

  • The eagerness of the parties to avoid litigation or obtain a swift resolution
  • Whether parties can secure witnesses’ presence or evidence for use at trial
  • The likelihood of a defendant being able to pay a possible damages award
  • The severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and losses

Resolving Decatur Car Crash Lawsuits Through a Settlement

No one party may force the other party to accept a settlement or terms of a settlement agreement. Both the plaintiff and the defendant must consider their situation and decide whether their interests are best served by pursuing a settlement or proceeding to trial. Those harmed in an accident may find the advice of an experienced Decatur injury lawyer helpful in evaluating the facts of the case and their circumstances. Doing so may help these individuals determine how best to protect and assert their legal rights.