What to know when negotiating a personal injury settlement

If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of exposure to toxic materials like asbestos, you could very well be considering your legal options. In many cases, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against one or multiple parties responsible for the exposure and any resulting illness.

Many people in this situation expect that their case will go all the way to a trial where people testify in front of a judge or jury who will deliberate and then make a ruling on who wins. However, the truth is that many of these types of cases are resolved long before they get to the courtroom. A large majority of personal injury cases, which includes asbestos claims, are resolved through a negotiated settlement.

Before a trial, two sides can make offers and counteroffers in an effort to reach a resolution. Typically, money is the primary issue that needs to be addressed. For example, if you have filed a claim against a brake pad manufacturing company, it may say that it will give you $50,000 and in exchange, you will stop pursuing legal action.

There are many considerations that need to be made before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.

  • How does the offer measure up to the expenses you have incurred as a result of an asbestos illness?
  • How strong is your claim against the liable party?
  • What is more important: resolving the situation or seeking maximum compensation?
  • Will the money offered go towards legal expenses?
  • Are there things in addition to money that would make the offer more attractive?

Based on these and many other factors, you may decide that you want to accept a proposed settlement, ask for changes or reject it and prepare for a trial. This can be an immensely complicated decision to make on your own which is why it can be important to have an attorney present.

Your lawyer can help you assess your options and the terms of a settlement before making any decision, which can help you avoid costly mistakes. Without legal representation, you can miss out on critical financial compensation which you may deserve.