October 25, 2014 • Legal Terminology
In New York, a car accident case is tried in two parts. The first part of the case will be to find out who is legally responsible for causing the automobile accident. When you obtain a verdict in your favor for the first part, it means the party you have sued is indeed responsible for the accident. The second part of the trial is about determining damages. Once the liability is determined in the first part, the jury will now determine how much compensation should be awarded to you, for the stress and losses that you have suffered due to your injuries.
A Settlement is Possible at any Stage of the Case
In your car accident case in New York, when you have a verdict in your favor on liability, then is it possible to settle the case, before the damages are tried? Once the jury has determined that, the defendant is responsible for the accident or liability verdict is declared, and they are about to try the case on damages, is it possible to settle the case. The answer is yes. It is in fact possible to settle an accident case, at any stage during the trial. This includes from the time the case is started, all the way through the different stages, and even when the jury is deliberating to pass a verdict. Yes, you can even try to settle your case, when the jury is out deliberating and before the verdict is read.
A Settlement is Possible even after the Jury Verdict, when the Defense Appeals
When the jury comes back with a verdict and the verdict is in your favor, the defense might declare that they are going to appeal. This means they are going to drag the case for another year or two. There is still the possibility of settling the case, after the jury verdict, if you want to avoid the appeal process.
The Settlement Amount will Vary
Even though a settlement is possible at any stage during an accident case, and even after when the defense is appealing, your lawyer should know when it is the best time to settle. After the first part of the case is over, and jury has reached a verdict in your favor about liability, then the defense might be eager to settle because they do not know how much damage the jury might award in the second part of the case. If the defense feels, the jury is likely to award a huge amount, then they will be eager to settle.
Now, the question would be, whether you should accept the settlement or wait for the jury verdict. It will mainly depend on what your lawyer thinks is the value of the case, and how far you can depend on the jury to award a heft amount as damages. Either way, there is not any guarantee you are going to receive the best possible settlement, and it will mainly depend on the knowledge and experience of your attorney in estimating the best deal.