Today, we are going to fill you in on everything you need to know if you are faced with the decision of settling out of court for your personal injury case.
Let's Talk About the Money
Let's face it. Trials can be costly, and on top of this, you also have the costs of your attorney. Most personal injury lawsuits will have a contingency fee arrangement, which means that the attorney will receive a certain percentage of any settlement made before a trial and another percentage of the amount received after the trial begins. Therefore, you will find that the sooner the case settles, the less expensive it will be for you.
Litigation becomes much less expensive for all parties involved. When computing the costs for the case, you need to factor in all the other out of pocket expenses in addition to the attorney fees including any pre-litigation expenses there may be, and any other fees that are either going to need to be paid up front or with the settlement amount.
Trials Can Be Stressful
In addition to the monetary reasons to settle out of court, you will also find that this can be a much less stressful option as well. Most trials will only last for a few days time, but the process itself can be stressful and nervewracking because you don't know how it is going to go. There are too many unknown variables you may have to contend with.
Through examinations and cross-examinations and your character being called into the forefront, you will find that going through a trial can be a lot more trying than you would have initially thought. However, if a settlement is negotiated and you settle out of court, the damages are paid, and the process is over.
Trials are Unpredictable
Sometimes people take their case to court because they feel that they will get much higher compensation awarded with a trial than they would with a settlement. However, there is no guarantee of this. Trials are very unpredictable, and some witnesses may prove to be unreliable, liability may be hard to prove, and you just don't know how much the jury would decide to award in compensation.
During a settlement, both parties will negotiate, and there will be a certain level of control in the process. Some may even be able to negotiate attorney fees as well as the settlement.
Trials Can Be Lengthy
To go along with the unpredictability of a trial is the amount of time the trial may last. Even after you go through the trial, there may end up being an appeal following it which can then extend it even further. Even with simple personal injury cases, you may be facing several appeals before seeing any hope of compensation.
When you settle out of court, the process is much shorter, and each party knows exactly how much the settlement will be and when it
will be paid out.
Choosing to settle out of court is not an admission of liability, it is just a way to get the process sorted and finalized in a quicker and much less expensive way. If you are still on the fence and unsure of what you should do, it is best to discuss your options with an experienced personal injury attorney so they can help guide you in the right direction.