How Personal Injury Settlements Are Different from Jury Verdicts in Alabama

Personal Injury Settlement vs. Verdict

Going to court is never fun, but you are in it to right a wrong. Ultimately, you seek compensation for someone else’s negligence that has harmed you or someone you love. Whether you are injured, out of work, or have mounting medical bills with no transportation at this time, it’s imperative that you understand your options for moving forward.

With the help of your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney, compensation could come from a personal injury settlement or a jury verdict. There are both positives and negatives to each form of compensation.

Personal Injury Settlement

First, consider the option of choosing a personal injury settlement.

When your attorney initiates negotiations with the opposing party, they will present your case, highlighting its strengths and providing evidence of the other party’s negligence and how it led to your injury. 

The negotiation includes what the other party has cost you, your health, and your property, both now and in the future. 

For example, your lawyer representing you in an auto accident case must prove that there was an expectation that everyone was to drive within the speed limit, especially in the rain. When the negligent party was speeding during dangerous conditions, his car spun out of control.

That might be expected when the roads are wet and slick with oil. You were damaged when the other driver’s vehicle plowed into yours. Now, you must undergo surgery and be out of work. Your vehicle is totaled, and none of it was your fault.

If the case is solid, you can expect the other side to offer a personal injury settlement. The first offer may not be enough, and your legal representative should anticipate that the insurer for the at-fault party will offer a lowball settlement and be prepared to counter the offer. A solid case will outline how much medical treatment will cost for surgeries, therapy, and specialist return visits. The cost of all of this should be included in the negotiation.  

A personal injury settlement is completed once both sides agree on a number and terms. The money should be forthcoming, and an appeal is not possible.

A Jury Verdict

That is not the case with a jury verdict.

The same accurate and precise preparation is needed to make one’s case. There should be no holes in gathering facts and in preparation for a challenge by the other side. There is an added complication in Alabama due to the doctrine of contributory negligence, which the other side will use to devalue your case.

If the insurer for the other driver can prove that you were in the wrong lane, or you didn’t signal, or you too were exceeding the speed limit, they can try to have your case thrown out of court. If you share the blame for your accident, Alabama law does not allow for recovery, a tactic used by the attorney for the at-fault party, sometimes successfully. 

If your attorney cannot negotiate a settlement with the other side, the case may proceed to trial before a jury.

The other side cannot challenge a settlement once both agree, but a jury verdict can be appealed extensively. You will have to wait for your compensation. The plus side is that a jury can hear the facts of any case and realize that one side, the at-fault party, carries much more blame than the other. That is when you see large, rare jury verdicts, usually because most cases settle before or during a trial.

Neither side wants to take their chances with a jury because jury trials are unpredictable.

Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney

Attorney Chip Nix considers all of the above when preparing your case for settlement or trial. His decades of experience have trained him to handle any personal injury case. You can rest assured he has seen the other side’s tactics, which will try to reduce the value of your accident.

Mr. Nix also brings compassion to his understanding of the law, enabling him to provide the expert representation you seek to establish total financial compensation, including medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

During an initial complimentary consultation at his Montgomery, Alabama office, Attorney Nix will gather facts and provide you with options for seeking the compensation you deserve. That meeting is just a phone call away at (334) 203 6669. 

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