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Negotiating a Settlement vs. Going to Court in Tampa Car Accident Cases

You may never have to go to court to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement in a personal injury case, but you’ll certainly be in need of quality representation from an experienced and respected Tampa car accident lawyer to get one. You can try to handle it on your own, but it’s highly likely that you’ll make mistakes along the way. Those mistakes can significantly devalue your case, and they can stay with you throughout the pendency of your claim or lawsuit. A seasoned injury lawyer isn’t going to make those mistakes, and he or she knows how to put the evidence regarding liability and damages in front of a judge and 12 people on a jury. An attorney could help you weigh the benefits of negotiating a settlement vs. going to court in Tampa car accident cases.

What is a Settlement in a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury settlements are negotiated just about every day in Hillsborough County. They can be lump-sum settlements whereupon a specific sum is of money is paid at one time, or they can be structured settlements when a sum of money is paid over a period of years. More than 99% of all personal injury settlements involve lump-sum payments.

How is a Settlement Entered Into?

When the parties have reached a compromise and settlement, a release of claims is forwarded to the claimant’s attorney for signature by the claimant. When the claimant signs off on that release, and the attorney delivers it, those acts operate to hold the defendant and his or her insurance company harmless for any claims, lawsuits or demands in connection with that specific accident that occurred on a specific date and location. No admission of liability will be made, but all past, present and future claims in connection with the occurrence will be forever barred and terminated.

When the insurer of the person who caused the accident receives the executed release, it will forward the claimant’s attorney a check in the appropriate amount. It’s highly unlikely that a claimant might settle a personal injury claim through an insurance company without executing and delivering a release, even if the claim has been placed in suit.  Courts favor settlements, releases and dismissal orders, so it’s also highly unlikely that a claimant might be able to void a release sometime in the future.

The Risks of Litigation

Even if a personal injury claim has been placed in suit and is in the court system, about 95% of all such cases settle rather than go to trial. Taking a personal injury case to trial can be risky for a claimant. A jury must be convinced of the issues of both liability and damages. Witnesses are often nervous, and they get flip-flopped by skilled insurance defense attorneys during cross-examination. Experienced attorneys on both sides of a case are going to weigh risk, reward, the likelihood of a verdict and its monetary range.

Trials Mean Additional Costs

When there is money on the table that is within the range of a favorable jury award, objectivity and reasonableness should prevail. Our goal is to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict that our clients deserve. When we’re within range of that number, the costs of litigation might reduce it. A verdict might also be rendered that is substantially below the value of a case.

Always remember that a good settlement is far better than a bad verdict. You can contact our offices to arrange for a free confidential consultation and case review. You’ll be able to speak with an experienced, dedicated and successful Tampa personal injury lawyer about your accident and injuries. We’re going to listen to you closely, and we’re also going to answer your questions truthfully. After that, we’ll advise you on what services we can offer.

Click here for a free consultation so that you can focus on healing while we take care of everything else.

what our clients say

Client Testimonials & Reviews

I have received nothing but the best service I can ask for from Mike Hancock’s office. He and his office are true professionals in every sense of the word. They guided me along the process and had outstanding communication. I am more than pleased with the services they provided, and I would definitely recommend them to anybody.

— Kayla Hamilton

From first to last interactions with attorneys Mike and Claire Hancock, to all the supporting staff and legals, the office has always been courteous, knowledgeable, and professional. They have always gotten right back with me when I had a question, and would not hesitate to highly recommend them.

—Debbie Smith

Absolutely fantastic! The Attorneys and its staff are very knowledgeable. Through my entire process they kept constant communication and the return of calls. I couldn't have made a better choice.Can’t say enough. Thank you, Mike and Gabby.

- L.C.

I want to express my thanks to you and your staff for handling my case. Your expertise and kindness in representing me was invaluable. Thank you so much for your professional and effective help. I won’t hesitate to recommend your firm to anyone who may need legal assistance

- J.M. of Tampa, Florida

I have no words to describe the wonderful experience that had been for me to do business with his legal firm . . . I really appreciate all the great effort that you guys put into my case.

- F.F. of Ocala, Florida

Heartfelt thanks to you for my check and for all your work for the extra check. I am so grateful to you. Appreciate everything very much! Special thoughts and prayers.

- So grateful to you

Thanks for the awesome service. You both did so much work on this and I appreciate it very much. This is a great outcome.

- P.Q. of Palatka, Florida

Mike and his team are awesome, emails are always responded back same day and the chiropractor recommendation was great. I was in a small fender bender but was always treated as if my case was worth a million dollars. I recommend his firm 1,000% you won't be disappointed.

- Chris

Your unwavering commitment to my family, and the love and compassion you have shown by your actions, and not just words, have had a dramatic, unforgettable impact on us all. Your kindness and level headedness in your representation has helped us be able to live a decent and stress-free life from here forward.

- P.M. of Brooksville, Florida

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