Settlement

After the case has been properly investigated, settlement may occur when both sides agree on an amount which you agree to accept. The decision is yours.

Many factors go into making a proper decision.

In a personal injury case, usually settlement does not occur until the injured person has completed his or her medical care and the doctor has either released him or has stated that his medical condition has gotten to "Maximum Medical Improvement" which means that the injured person's medical condition will stay the same and not get any better.

Additionally, the "Discovery" process must be concluded or almost concluded. Discovery is the process by which the parties "discover" or find out about the other side's case. They will want to take your deposition and the depositions of the other persons involved in the accident. The party you have sued will gather your medical records from the accident and before the accident. They will want to take the depositions of your doctors to investigate your injuries to determine whether the accident caused your injuries, whether they were caused by some other accident, or whether your condition occurred as a result of the normal aging process.

If expert testimony is needed, such as proving that a product was defective, each side's experts must also be deposed.

Only after the discovery process is concluded may the case be properly evaluated. Only then is settlement advisable.

After appropriate discovery, you will be able to know what you are able to prove in court and you will also know what the other side will be able to prove in court. You may then be able to make an intelligent decision on settlement.

In a personal injury case you are entitled to be compensated for your pain and suffering, the physical injury itself, your loss of enjoyment of life, your medical expenses, past and future, your loss of income, past and future, and the impairment of your future earning capacity, plus legal interest on all of the above from the suit was filed.

In a wrongful death case, the survival claim entitles certain persons to "inherit" the injured person's injury claim which includes recovery for many of the damages listed above. Additionally, certain persons are entitled to recover for their damages as a result of losing a loved one. See Wrongful Death.

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