Being involved in an accident is never easy. Not only do you have to deal with injuries, hospitals, treatments, work absences, and lost wages, but you also have to think about compensation claims as well. The compensation results after a settlement which sometimes can happen in court, but more often than not it is usually done outside of it. However, it’s a good idea to have an attorney by your side, since you’ll need a skilled, experienced attorney who knows what they are doing.
If you were involved in an accident recently, make sure to talk to a Boston car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Communication With the Other Party/Their Attorney
If the other party has hired an attorney, they work as their representative, so if any papers should be sent to the other side, your attorney will send them to the other attorney.
In general, attorneys can’t directly talk to the other party if they have an attorney. In case you don’t have an attorney, you can contact the other party directly unless the court ordered you not to (personal protection order). You can also call the other party’s attorney.
The attorney’s job is to protect their client’s interest, not yours, so don’t be surprised if the communication is only in writing. They may be a neutral person, but it doesn’t mean that they are here to give you legal advice.
If you don’t have an attorney (therefore you don’t have a legal advisor) it means that you should respect them and respond to all their e-mails, phone calls, and letters within a reasonable time. If the other party’s attorney agrees to do something, ask them to write it down. This will be useful to you in case they later don’t keep their word.
What About Settlement?
A few court cases end with a decision from the judge; most of them end with a settlement before the case even gets to court. If both parties reach a deal, a written settlement agreement states its terms. The settlement usually compromises where both sides give and take and this agreement might be written by the parties, or drafted with the help of a neutral person like a referee, mediator or other staff. The settlement has several advantages over trial:
- The settlement can resolve your dispute quicker, in cases where you agree about most things;
- The settlement may cost you less;
- It may be more confidential than a trial. The final judgment is a public record and the settlement remains private;
- You have more control over the result of your dispute and avoid the risk of a judge deciding against you;
- You’ll avoid a combative court process;
- If you both have agreed to the settlement, both of you will likely stick to it.
Usually, both parties will try to settle the case before the final court order and it can happen even in the courthouse during the pre-trial hearing or another scheduled meeting. Many settlements are done outside the courtroom before a hearing. You can set up a meeting with the other party or talk by phone.
You can agree on some but not everything. This is called a ‘partial settlement’ which is useful because it means if your case gets to court, the judge will have less work to decide for at the trial.
Remember, the settlement is a voluntary choice and you aren’t obliged to agree to anything. This is why having an attorney is a good idea. First of all, you will have a legal representative that will speak on your behalf in case you aren’t able to (healing, hospital stay, etc.). Your attorney will do their best to protect your interests and will advise you not to accept any settlement that doesn’t seem enough to cover your medical bills, damages, lost wages, pain and suffering.
Hire a Boston Car Accident Attorney
After an accident, no matter whose fault it was, it’s important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. This is important because having a professional review of your case can spare you from many surprises and you will know what you can expect from your case. Also, having legal advice from an attorney when it comes to settlements is more than welcome. You won’t be lost in the process and will know that they are negotiating for the best possible outcome for you. You alone might accept the first offer and end up with a low settlement. To avoid this, call Soto Law and schedule your consultation.