Most personal injury cases, including those related to construction accidents, settle before trial. Whether your construction case will settle out of court depends on several factors, including the specifics of your case, the parties involved, and the strategy of your legal representation.

Settling out of court can offer advantages to both the plaintiff and the defendant, such as reduced legal costs, quicker resolution, and less public exposure of potentially sensitive information. Keep reading for key considerations from a skilled New York construction accident lawyer.

construction case settled out of court

What does it mean to “settle” a case?

To settle a personal injury case means to reach an agreement between the injured party (plaintiff) and the party allegedly responsible for the injury (defendant) or their insurance company without going to trial.

This agreement typically involves the defendant or their insurer paying the plaintiff a sum in exchange for the plaintiff’s agreement not to pursue any further legal action related to the injury. Settlements are negotiated and finalized outside of court to reduce the time, expense, and uncertainty associated with a trial.

How do I know if settling is the best option?

1. Evidence and liability

Strong evidence that indicates negligence by the employer, contractor, or another party can significantly increase the likelihood of settlement. If liability is clear, defendants are more inclined to settle to avoid the risk of a higher judgment amount and additional legal fees associated with a trial.

2. Severity of injuries

The nature and extent of the injuries sustained play a critical role in settlement discussions. Severe injuries with straightforward, well-documented medical treatment are more likely to lead to settlements, presenting a clear picture of the damages incurred.

3. Insurance policy limits

The limits of the defendant’s insurance policy can affect settlement negotiations. If the damages exceed the insurance coverage, defendants might be more motivated to settle within policy limits to avoid personal financial liability.

4. Willingness to negotiate

Settlement is a negotiation process. Both parties’ willingness to negotiate and make concessions is crucial to reaching an out-of-court settlement.

What’s the settlement process in New York?

1. Demand letter

The process typically begins with your attorney sending a demand letter to the defendant’s insurer, outlining the case’s facts, the extent of your injuries, and the compensation sought.

2. Negotiation

If the insurer is open to settlement, this initiates a negotiation phase where both parties discuss a fair compensation amount. This phase can involve several rounds of offers and counteroffers.

3. Mediation

If negotiations stall, both parties might agree to mediation, where a neutral third party helps facilitate a settlement agreement.

4. Settlement agreement

Once both sides agree on compensation, a settlement agreement is drafted, which details the settlement amount and any conditions. Signing this agreement usually requires the plaintiff to waive any future claims related to the accident.

Considerations for settlement

1. Legal representation

Experienced legal representation is crucial in navigating a construction accident case’s complexities and negotiating a fair settlement.

2. Personal considerations

Personal factors, such as the need for immediate financial assistance or the desire to avoid the emotional strain of a trial, can influence the decision to settle.

3. Risk assessment

Both parties must assess the risks of going to trial versus the certainty of a settlement. Trials can be unpredictable, and there’s always a risk that the jury’s verdict could be less favorable than the settlement offer.

Hurt in a construction accident? We can help you get the compensation you need.

While many construction cases settle out of court, the decision to settle depends on a complex interplay of factors specific to each case. The settlement process involves strategic negotiations and, sometimes, compromises by both parties. With skilled legal representation at The Weinstein Law Group, you can navigate these negotiations effectively to reach a settlement that compensates them fairly for their injuries without the need to go to trial—call (212) 741-3800 to schedule your free consultation.