Personal Injury Cases Solved through an Informal Settlement
Updated on Saturday 25th February 2017
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The manner in which a personal injury claim in Los Angeles is settled depends mainly on the types of injuries sustained by the victim and also on the severity of those injuries. In general, when the accident has resulted in extensive trauma and damage, the case will be solved through a formal lawsuit. If the accident has not resulted in wrongful death or the injuries are not extensive, the parties can choose to solve the personal injury case through an informal settlement.
This procedure involves negotiation between the parties, the insurers, and the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys who represent both sides.
Informal early settlements
The purpose of any negotiation for an informal settlement is to reach an agreeable amount of compensations for both parties. If the parties agree on an amount and want to pursue this manner of solving the case, they will sign a formal agreement that will prohibit them to take any other legal actions once the agreed financial amount has been paid.
The plaintiff and the defendant can agree not only on the amount that will cover the medical expenses and the emotional trauma but also the manner in which the payment will be made. The payment can be awarded all at once (a lump-sum payment) or in installments (in this case it is called a structured payment). Depending on the current and future medical expenses associated with the accident, one type of payment may be better than the other. The two parties can also negotiate to combine these two types of payments: for example the first half of the amount paid in full and the other half in fixed yearly installments. A structured payment might even provide the plaintiff with some tax advantages, as personal injury settlements are generally seen as tax-free in the United States.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will represent you during the negotiations for an informal settlement. Our lawyers will gather all the data regarding your accident, whether it is a pedestrian accident or another type of accident, like a dog bite injury. After determining the extent of the damages based on the medical records and other data, we will help you determine the correct amount of compensations for your loss.
Mediation and arbitration
Arbitration and mediation are two alternative dispute resolution methods that can be used between the informal settlement and the formal lawsuit if needed. During the arbitration process, the personal injury case is presented to a third party, the arbitrator, who will deliver a decision using most of the same methods that can be used during a trial.
Parties who choose to follow the course of a formal lawsuit must observe the special laws governing personal injury cases in the state of California, like the statute of limitations for personal injury claims.