The legal system expects an accident settlement to provide a victim with a way to regain the financial security that he or she enjoyed prior to the accident. Still, no settlement can help a claimant/victim to recover all the time and effort that was expended, during the quest for a fair compensation.
Multiple factors influence the size of a settlement
Pain and suffering: In Canada, this has a greater effect on the size of a settlement that gets reached before the case has moved on to the litigation stage. In Canadian courts, the award for a plaintiff’s pain and suffering cannot exceed $366,000.
A determination of who was at fault: There might have been evidence of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff. That would reduce the size of the settlement. Still, the extent of that reduction depends on how well the defense has proven its allegations, regarding careless or neglectful acts on the part of the plaintiff.
The behavior of the responsible party: An effort to fight charges of negligence, when there is no basis for the denial of responsibility, could increase the amount of money in the court’s demand for compensation.
The nature of the injury suffered, as a result of the accident: If the defendant appears to be shrugging-off the fact that his or her actions contributed to the victim’s need to live with a burdensome handicap or disfigurement, then that fact could increase the size of the settlement.
The factor with the greatest influence: the strength of the victim’s case
No insurance company wants to argue a case in court, unless it feels that it can win. That fact plays a large part in determining any settlement’s size. During negotiations, the representatives for an insurance company might suggest that the victim was partly responsible for the injury. Yet the same representatives might realize that the insurer’s argument would not hold up well in a courtroom.
If the insurer’s representatives have come to that realization, then they will work towards reaching a pre-trial agreement. Meanwhile, if the personal injury lawyer in St. Albert for the plaintiff feels that his or her client would not be a strong witness, that lawyer might agree to the request from the insurance company.
The lawyer could reduce the client’s disappointment at getting a reduced compensation package by emphasizing the client’s freedom from worries about getting onto the witness stand. The client might not object to the low figure agreed to by those that settled the dispute.
Of course, that does not always mean that the client received a fair compensation. Some lawyers do not relish the idea of going to court. During a consultation, an accident victim should ask about the consulted lawyer’s courtroom experience.