Boulder City Magazine® December 2010/January 2011 Issue
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish
Injury Settlements and Trials
The largest percentage of all lawsuits in our courts are for personal injury claims, most resulting from motor vehicle accidents. While our courtrooms are occupied with personal injury trials every day, the vast majority of such cases are resolved through pre-trial settlements. There are numerous reasons why the injured person and the insurance company defending the driver who is alleged to be at fault usually settle the case.
Boulder City Magazine®
|If a case proceeds all the way to a trial, major expenses and court costs are incurred, and the attorney fees, even on a contingency basis, increase substantially. Therefore, a settlement which takes place well before the trial date can result in a much larger net recovery for the injured claimant and a much lower total expenditure for the insurance company.
It can take 2 or 3 years from the time a lawsuit is filed until a trial takes place. Obviously, a settlement which occurs early in the litigation process, or even better, prior to a lawsuit, can bring closure and the avoidance of costly, time-consuming and unpleasant involvement in legal proceedings. After all, who wants to hang out with a bunch of lawyers all the time?
A settlement can usually be structured so that the recovery is tax-free, while any jury verdict which includes a loss of earnings component will result in some income tax consequences.
Of course, a huge consideration for both plaintiffs’ and defendants’ attorneys in encouraging their clients to consider settlement negotiations is that trial juries are totally unpredictable, and you are rolling the dice by going to trial, even when you believe your case is very strong. Therefore, settlement mediation is increasingly used in personal injury cases and other civil lawsuits to assist litigants in settling their cases.
Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish. Bruce’s law firm has offices located in both Boulder City and in Las Vegas.
To contact Bruce, visit his website at www.juww.com.
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 331-3123
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