Personal injuries can result in costly medical expenses along with emotional and physical stress and damage. If you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else, it’s your legal right to pursue compensation.
Not all personal injury cases are the same so it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer to negotiate your settlement amount. At the same time, there are many factors to consider to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. You may also choose to settle out of court as it can be quicker. And with the help of an experienced lawyer, you will have someone to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
To determine whether an out-of-court settlement is your best option, here are some pros and cons to consider.
Personal Injury Cases: Is It Worth Settling Out of Court?
Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer and read this post to discover the pros and cons of settling a personal injury case out of court.
1. Rapid Resolution
Litigation can be a long process, with victims waiting months or years for their trial date. And the trial can take even longer, depending on its complexity and the testimony that needs to be presented.
It can take even longer to secure a settlement, depending on the time that the investigation takes. Typically, neither the defendant nor the plaintiff wants to drag things out. So, it comes down to the benefits both parties will get if they resolve the matter by settling.
2. Guaranteed Settlement
When a case goes to trial, there’s always a chance that the judge or jury will rule in the defendant’s favour. If this happens, you don’t recover any compensation.
When you settle out of court, you are certain to be compensated somehow as both parties decide mutually on a settlement amount. By going this route, you better understand how much you will receive.
3. Less Expense
Going to court is always an expensive endeavour, and there are many factors that affect it, from witness payments to lawyer and courtroom fees. Plus, many personal injury lawyers charge more for cases that go to court, in addition to fees for the pre-litigation stage.
If the victim is awarded compensation at trial, their lawyer fees are generally covered by said compensation. But this reduces the amount the victim may have received otherwise. As mentioned, you may lose at trial, and, legal fees add up quickly. By settling out of court, you minimize your expenses.
4. Increased Privacy
As soon as a case goes to court, it turns into a public trial and the news may also report on it, making your story, name, and case details available for everyone to see.
And, while you might not have done anything wrong, it can feel invasive if random people know all about your case and compensation. People tend to form opinions without knowing all the facts. For sensitive individuals, these judgements can hurt, even coming from strangers. When settling out of court, you have complete control over what you choose to tell others and what you keep private.
1. No Admission of Liability
Most settlements have a clause where the defendant doesn’t admit liability for the incident or accident. Many victims who go to court want the defendant to apologize or to receive a written judgement that states the defendant is at fault.
When settling out of court, you will not receive a written judgement or apology. The defendant might not even admit to what they did since they aren’t legally obligated to do so.
2. Unfair Compensation
Once you have agreed to settle out of court, the amount you receive may be much less than what you would have if your case had gone to trial.
A personal injury lawyer can offer advice but, ultimately, whether you settle out of court or go to trial is up to you. So, think about it carefully and consult with your lawyer regarding your options.