A personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana may end with a settlement rather than a trial

Baton Rouge, LA – When someone is hurt after an automobile accident, they may contact their insurance company and seek out legal help. This is due to the fact that things like vehicle repairs and medical bills can become extremely expensive. However, it is rare that their case will result in a jury trial. There are a number of reasons for this, but injury lawyers have become efficient negotiators and settlement agreements will usually accomplish many of the same goals in a personal injury case

What is a settlement agreement? 

When an attorney files a lawsuit, they need to list damages which is the legal term for the costs to the victim for medical treatment, property repairs, lost wages, and similar kinds of losses. The main objective of a settlement agreement is to get a comparable amount of damages for the client without having to actually go through an entire trial. While every case is different, the plaintiff is in a favorable position if the evidence tends to show little dispute about the fault of the defendant, which means that they could possibly lose even more money than the victim’s damages after the jury makes their decision. The settlement agreement will usually also contain language that the execution of the document marks the absolute end of the lawsuit, and the plaintiff cannot seek future damages or take additional legal action at a later time. 

Trial costs 

Trials can come with a number of costs to the firm that represents the plaintiff. Having large costs or high fees is problematic, especially if the client has a contingent or hourly fee with the firm, where they will essentially pay back this money out of their winnings. Trials can require expert witnesses, additional help from other lawyers, additional court filings, and other forms of preparation that cost a significant amount of money. Being in court can also take people away from their jobs or other sources of income, so there may be additional costs in terms of lost wages. 

Compensation for the victim

Whether the case goes to trial or settles, the victim should speak with their lawyer about the specific value of their case. Clients who have serious injuries or permanent disabilities after an accident tend to be able to argue for larger amounts of compensation, but specific legal advice is always better and more accurate than general estimates. 

Meeting with a local attorney to discuss lawsuits

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that assists clients in Baton Rouge with various legal issues. Anyone who is considering a personal injury lawsuit can set up an initial consultation to determine the best course of action. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806