Bike accidents can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, bruises, and brain damage. Accordingly, many people choose to file lawsuits against those who injured them to get compensation for their injuries. However, During the lead-up to a trial, opposing counsel may offer to pay a certain amount in compensation to you in exchange for dropping the case. This is called a settlement, which is when both sides of a lawsuit come to an agreement before trial, and the case does not go any further. When considering whether to accept a settlement offer, it is important to know what is a good offer and what is not.
The payouts in bike accident settlements can vary wildly because of the wide range of injuries that can result from a bike accident. For example, someone on a bicycle hit by a slow-moving vehicle or another cyclist will likely have less serious injuries than someone hit by a car going at full speed. Given the wide range of possible injuries, it is difficult to predict a singular settlement offer without further information.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Baltimore bike accident lawyers at the number (410) 694-7291 for a free analysis of your case.
Average Bike Accident Settlement Amounts in Maryland
What plaintiffs get in average settlements is not always freely available for the public to see. Thus, it is difficult to use an average settlement amount to determine whether a settlement in your bike accident lawsuit is reasonable or not. Moreover, the average settlement may not be helpful in deciding whether or not your settlement is acceptable or not. For example, if you have very grievous injuries from your bike accident, an “average” settlement may not be enough to meet your needs.
What is a Settlement in Maryland?
When people think of lawsuits, the first thought is likely a jury trial where one side comes out on top. In reality, many lawsuits do not make it to trial because they are resolved beforehand. One of the ways this can happen is through a process called a “settlement.” In a settlement, one side of the case, usually the defendant, will make an offer to the other in an attempt to resolve the dispute before it gets to trial.
Are Averages Useful for Analyzing Maryland Bike Accident Settlements?
Looking up average settlement amounts from plaintiffs who were in similar accidents to yours may seem like a good idea to determine what a fair settlement offer is for your injuries. However, the reality is that evaluating a settlement offer based on averages and other settlements can be misleading and unhelpful.
First, any average settlements you find online may not be representative of what the actual average is. This is because not all settlement amounts are reported or recorded. Many settlement agreements are kept private because the plaintiff, defendant, court, or all of the above requested it to be private. Second, settlement amounts are frequently found on the websites of law firms. Naturally, firms are interested in putting their best foot forward on the internet, so settlement amounts may skew higher or more successful than the full picture. Finally, and arguably most importantly, settlements are between unique parties for each case. What makes sense for a settlement for one plaintiff can be unacceptable to another because of their different circumstances.
Thus, it is better to talk with our Maryland personal injury lawyers and consider what constitutes a good settlement offer for you instead of basing it on a settlement somebody else got.
How to Evaluate Settlement Offers for Bike Accidents in Maryland
When you are considering a settlement offer, there are a number of things you need to take into account before you decide to accept, reject, or renegotiate with opposing counsel. Accepting a settlement offer has many benefits over taking a case all the way to trial, but there are also some potential downsides.
One of the benefits to plaintiffs that comes from accepting a settlement offer is that legal proceedings will come to a close more quickly. One of the things that makes lawsuits difficult and stressful is how long it takes on the shoulders of those involved. From a more practical standpoint, you will likely get any compensation quicker in a settlement than if the case goes to trial. You should consider with our lawyers whether a quicker route to financial compensation is beneficial or not.
Cost of Litigation
Another factor for plaintiffs to consider is the cost of ongoing litigation. As previously stated, time is an important factor in determining whether you should or should not take a settlement. Related to that is the fact that as a lawsuit drags on, the cost of litigation and continuing to pursue the case goes up. In some cases, the cost of litigation may eat up any potential damages you are awarded if you win. Depending on the circumstances, it can be a good idea to settle instead of letting a case fester.
Remember, though, that every plaintiff has a right to go to trial if they wish, and the ultimate decision to settle – or not – is up to you.
Jury Award vs. Settlement
Finally, it is important to weigh what you are getting out of a settlement offer against the potential damages you could get from a lawsuit. Sometimes, a settlement offer will be less than what you could have received as damages in court. However, the important question to ask is not whether you could have got more in court but whether a settlement offer gets you what you need to move on with your life from your injuries. Remember, the outcome of a trial is never guaranteed. It is ultimately in the hands of the jury on the day whether a plaintiff or defendant wins a case. In a settlement, the outcome is set in stone because both parties agreed to it. So, even if you could potentially get more out of a jury trial, there is a chance you could get nothing at all. If a settlement gives you compensation that you would be happy with as damages, you should weigh your options with our lawyers.
Call Our Maryland Bike Accident Lawyers Today
To talk about your case, call the Ocean City, MD personal injury lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at the number (410) 694-7291.