If you have damages after a car collision, you could receive a car accident payment from an insurance company or at-fault driver. All settlements entail a legal contract between the parties, stating the amount of compensation and other details. Since this document is critical for your financial recovery, hiring a lawyer can be crucial for protecting your rights with the contract for a car accident payment during trial.
Handling contract negotiations on your own could leave you out of pocket. However, you do not need to struggle alone. Morgan & Morgan is on your side. We know that victims need a fair settlement to go on with their lives after an accident to pay for their medical bills and other expenses. Let us help. Contact Morgan & Morgan now for a free, no-obligation case review.
What Is the Contract for Car Accident Payments?
When you win your lawsuit or accept a settlement, you might sit back relieved that the most stressful part of getting your due is over. However, negotiating a favorable settlement contract is crucially important for your financial recovery. All settlement agreements entail a contract, whether agreed out of court or at a trial. This contract is a legal document formalizing the agreement between the parties and resolving the dispute. A valid contract has to follow strict legal requirements that can differ from one state to another.
The settlement contract is binding for both parties and must follow the terms agreed upon during the negotiation of the settlement. For the contract for car accident payment during trial to be valid, it should be in writing and generally contain, among other provisions:
- The settlement offer from the at-fault party
- The other party agreeing to the terms of the offer
- The amount and timing of payments
- The parties’ obligations regarding attorney’s fees and expenses
When the contract is agreed upon, the individual receiving damages generally has to sign a release document to receive the settlement. The release agreement protects the at-fault party from further lawsuits from the injured party. Therefore, it is critical to know how the release agreement affects your rights. Before signing any settlement paperwork, ensure to discuss the potential consequences with an attorney to protect your legal rights.
Why You Need A Lawyer to Help With the Car Accident Payment Contract
Ideally, you should work with a lawyer before negotiating the settlement contract for car accident payment during trial. A seasoned attorney can protect your rights during negotiations to ensure that you do not leave any money on the table and receive fair compensation for your damages.
Moreover, settlement contracts contain a lot of legal jargon that can be tough to understand for those without a legal background. Yet, it is crucially important that you understand all the terms and provisions contained in the contract. Signing the contract and release document usually means you lose the right to future legal recourse.
Morgan & Morgan Never Settles for Less
Our experienced and dedicated attorneys focus on achieving the settlement you deserve right from the beginning of your case. We can pave the way to a fair settlement contract by:
- Calculating your damages comprehensively to determine your case’s worth
- Identifying all liable parties in your car accident
- Proving negligence
- Communicating with the insurance company and the at-fault party
- Negotiating a fair out-of-court settlement with the insurer
- Fighting for what you deserve at trial
- Work for you on a no-win-no-fee basis
Since 1988, our personal injury lawyers have fought for the rights of the injured and, to date, recovered more than $10 billion in damages. We try more lawsuits than other law firms because we never settle for the last best offer. Morgan & Morgan knows what you deserve, and our attorneys can negotiate the best possible settlement contract.
A Lawyer Can Help You Recover Fair Compensation
During settlement negotiations, a seasoned lawyer from our firm can protect you from being taken advantage of by an insurance company or the at-fault party’s attorney. For example, the other side could claim that you have some fault in the accident, which could reduce your settlement amount considerably. Morgan & Morgan can work with investigators and expert witnesses to defend your best interests. If you do have some fault in the accident, we can ensure that your degree of fault is assessed fairly and minimized as much as possible.
Calculating the Full Value of Your Damages
Our attorneys know how to gather evidence for your damages and calculate all your losses, including future expected damages.
Medical Bills and Future Medical Expenses
We can liaise with your medical providers to discuss potential future treatments and determine your long-term prognosis. We don’t want you to end up paying for your own medical bills down the road and will fight hard so you can receive what you need to get better.
Income Loss and Loss of Future Earning Potential
If you were significantly injured, you could be entitled to substantial damages for wage loss and future expected income losses. Our lawyers will look at your wages, benefits, and future promotion prospects in detail to fight for a full car accident payment.
Pain and Suffering
Calculating damages for pain and suffering, loss of life quality, and other so-called “non-economic damages” can be tricky. However, if you suffered severe injuries in an accident, putting a figure on your physical and emotional suffering is crucial for receiving a fair settlement. Our personal injury lawyers can calculate your non-economic damages based on evidence such as physician’s statements, testimony from family and friends, and more.
Why Car Accidents Go to Trial
In most cases, car accident claims never see a courtroom and are resolved with an insurance settlement instead. However, a case can proceed to trial when the parties cannot agree on a settlement amount. Reasons why car accidents go to trial can include:
- The insurance company refuses or minimizes a settlement
- Fault for the accident is unclear or contested
- Damages are high
If the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, it can become necessary to file a lawsuit. Simply filing a lawsuit can motivate an insurer to pay up and avoid the hassle and expense of a trial. However, injured victims should be prepared to go to court to fight for what they deserve. Unlike other law firms, Morgan & Morgan never shies away from fighting for injured victims at trial. Insurance companies know that we don’t settle for less.
The Difference Between a Settlement and Trial
Out-of-court settlements can be convenient for both parties in a lawsuit, the plaintiff (the person bringing the suit) and the defendant. Although timelines can vary, settlements tend to be quicker and less costly. However, although both parties may be interested in resolving their dispute with a quick settlement, they may disagree on the terms. For the plaintiff, going to court and pursuing a trial can be the best chance of getting the compensation they deserve. Settlements can occur right up to trial proceedings.
How Does a Car Accident Trial Work?
A car accident trial generally involves the following individuals:
- The plaintiff
- The defendant (the at-fault person or their insurance company)
- The plaintiff’s attorney
- The defendant’s attorney
- The judge
- A jury
The Legal Process for Car Accidents
1. Filing a Complaint
Once your lawyer determines that you have a legal case, they can file a complaint at the civil court. The complaint is the first step in filing a lawsuit. The document describes what happened in the accident, the plaintiff’s losses, and the requested remedy for damages. Once the complaint is filed, it will be “served” by physically delivering it to the defendant.
2. Defendant’s Response
The defendant is typically required to respond within 20 days of being served. The response is called “answer” and will contain the defendant’s version of the circumstances leading to the lawsuit.
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), both sides in a lawsuit prepare for trial by engaging in the discovery process. In discovery, both parties exchange relevant information and evidence needed for the trial, such as accident reports, witness statements, and more.
4. The Trial
Unless there is a pre-trial settlement, the trial will go ahead. A car accident trial can involve numerous steps, including:
- Selection of the jury
- Opening statements
- Presentation of evidence
- Direct examination of witnesses
- Cross-Examination of witnesses
- Closing arguments
- Instructions of the jury
- Jury deliberations
5. After the Trial
The trial is not always the end of a dispute, as either party can appeal. The appeal process can take months or even years.
Car Accident Trials Can Be Stressful
Trials can be a stressful experience. Being in a courtroom and getting cross-examined by the defendant’s attorney can feel intimidating. However, having an experienced car accident lawyer from Morgan & Morgan on your side could help you achieve a favorable contract for car accident payment during trial. Our attorneys can protect you, present your case in the strongest form, and fight for the best possible outcome.