What is a Settlement?
A personal injury action proceeding through the Court system may last many months or even years. However most personal injury cases never reach a Court room at all. Instead, they are successfully settled outside of it. The Defendant, though their solicitor, will offer an amount of money which if accepted should satisfy your claim; eliminating the need to appear in court.
For what should I be compensated?
Special Damages. This is usually what can be easily identified and reasonably attributable to the injury or accident. For example medical treatment, physiotherapy, pain killers, loss of wages, transport costs; in short any out of pocket expenses arising from the accident.
General Damages. The principal behind general damages is to try, in money terms, to compensate you for pain suffered and inconvenience caused as a result of the accident. This can be not only for past pain and suffering but also anticipated future pain and suffering, whether temporary or permanent. General damages are assessed by reference to medical reports and a prognosis by your doctor or specialist into the future. If your injury is likely to last the rest of your life you may also be entitled to compensation for future loss of earnings.
Costs. A settlement will normally stipulate that the Defendant pays some or all of your legal expenses. Settlement also means you avoid many of the expenses of witnesses and other experts involved in your case.
For all of the above reasons, a settlement is often the best possible outcome in a personal injury case. Solicitors will strive to settle a case in most instances, depending on the details of the case.