There is always the possibility that your premises liability case will be settled out of court. These settlements are common, especially in cases where liability is clear. However, there is no way to guarantee that your case will be settled without the need for a trial.
If you suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to financial compensation through a premises liability claim. While this claim might ultimately be resolved through a mutual settlement, there is always the possibility that your case could go to trial.
When Premises Liability Settlements Happen
Premises liability claims can occur over the course of several stages. The good news is that a settlement could be possible during any of these stages, even in days leading up to a jury trial. Some settlements occur without the need for a lawsuit.
Settlement negotiations frequently start right away once an attorney takes on a claim. These efforts typically begin with something known as a demand letter. A demand letter is formal written correspondence from your attorney to the at-fault party or their insurance company.
This letter outlines the basis of your claim and asks for a set amount of monetary compensation for your injuries. In cases where liability is clear, a settlement could occur within a matter of weeks. Obviously, this is the best-case scenario possible.
Some legal claims go to mediation before a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It involves both parties meeting with a mediator in an effort to resolve the claim. Mediation frequently results in settlements for premises liability claims.
While many settlements occur early on in the process, things will not always play out that way. It may take a lawsuit to push the property owner or their insurance company into resolving a case. Settlements also happen during every stage of a lawsuit. Often, the parties will resolve a case shortly after discovery is completed. In other cases, a settlement might not occur until the eve of trial.
Factors that Can Increase the Chances of Settlement
Not all premises liability claims are created equally. The stronger the evidence of liability, the more likely the defendant and their insurance company are to agree to a mutual settlement. Your attorney could improve your chances of success by building the strongest case possible. The evidence needed to build a winning claim could include:
- Video footage. Some of the strongest claims are backed up by video evidence. If your premises liability accident was recorded on video, it could be powerful evidence of negligence against the property owner.
- Medical bills. While proving liability is central to a strong settlement, so is establishing the amount of damages you are entitled to recover. Compiling your medical bills could establish the value of your claim.
- Witness statements. If a neutral third party witnessed your injury, their statement could be invaluable. Unlike the parties to a lawsuit, juries typically give substantial weight to the testimony of a neutral witness.
- Incident reports. If your injury occurred on the premises of a business, there might be an incident report detailing how the accident happened. In some cases, it might even note that employees or agents of the defendant took responsibility for the accident.
- Photographs. There are numerous ways that photographic evidence could strengthen your chances of settling your case. Photos of your injuries could be used to demonstrate your damages, and photos of the scene of the accident could provide a jury with context about how your premises liability claim occurred.
Building a strong case is vital to success at trial. Importantly, developing a winning case could also help you avoid going to trial at all. By developing a strong case for liability, your attorney could push the defendant and their insurance provider to make a fair settlement offer.
Reach Out to Our Attorneys Today to Discuss Your Settlement Options
If you are curious if your premises liability could be settled out of court, reach out to the attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson as soon as possible. While our team cannot guarantee your case will settle, we can review your situation and advise you of your chances of resolving your claim.
Call us today to get started on your premises liability case.