Many people are surprised to learn that most personal injury lawsuits don’t go to trial. By some estimates, more than 90% of personal injury claims are settled out of court. Often, claims are settled before the injured party has even formally filed a lawsuit.

Compared to going to trial, resolving a claim through an out-of-court settlement is generally faster and less expensive. Perhaps most importantly, it gives the injured a greater degree of control over the outcome.

However, it’s important to remember that a settlement agreement almost always prevents the injured person from taking any more legal action against the defendant related to the injury. If you take a settlement offer and later find that amount your damages related to the accident were greater than you expected, you won’t be able to go back and ask the defendant for more money. You must carefully calculate your damages before you know how much to demand.

For an accurate calculation of your damages, it’s crucial that you get help from an experienced personal injury attorney. No two cases are exactly alike, but a lawyer who has worked with other personal injury clients knows how to look for the economic effects of your accident in ways you might not have anticipated.

Often, people who settle their claims without a lawyer neglect to factor future losses into their calculations. When an injury is serious, its economic impact does not end when the injured party is discharged from the hospital, or even when the person returns to work. A serious injury can have a long-term effect on a person’s income potential, their relationship with their loved ones and other aspects of their lives. These damages are not always easy to put in monetary terms, but they are very real to the people experiencing them.

People who suffer these damages due to the negligence of another party deserve compensation. An attorney can help make sure they don’t settle for less than they deserve.