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Lawsuit Settlements Are A Good Thing

When most people think about lawsuits, they probably think of all the courtroom dramas on TV and in films where lawyers cleverly maneuver around each other, discover key pieces of evidence in the middle of a trial, and trick witnesses into confessing on the stand. Moments like these make for great stories with plenty of drama, but what they don’t do is represent how the vast majority of real-life cases go. Most real lawsuits end with a settlement out of court, and that’s almost always a good thing.

Lawsuits Are A Last Resort

In the first place, filing a civil lawsuit represents the fact that the parties on either side have a problem with each other and can’t solve it themselves. For instance, if a person slips on a rainy road and falls into a ditch, her insurance company might not want to cover all the repairs and towing costs she needs to pay to get her vehicle back in shape. They may claim that some of the damage came from wear and tear that she has to cover herself, or else that policy doesn’t cover the kind of accident that occurred.

If the driver and the insurance company can’t come to an agreement, then the driver can file a lawsuit to force the company to pay her the money they owe her because of the insurance policy. However, it’s still very possible to come to an agreement after this filing, and the two parties can always settle their differences out of court right up until the moment when the jury delivers a verdict. For a trial to take place and go all the way to the end means that both sides are refusing to back down until the very end.

Discovery Can Deliver Overwhelming Evidence

The longest phase of a lawsuit is the discovery period, the time when both sides can gather evidence that supports their arguments and find out what the other side has gathered at the same time. At some point, it can become clear that one side has all the strongest evidence and if the case goes to trial they will inevitably win. When that happens, it’s always best to either reach a settlement or drop the case entirely. As such, cases that go to trial are usually trickier than ones that end in settlements.

Trials Are Expensive

Trials are very involved. They need judges, stenographers, bailiffs, lawyers, jury members, courtrooms, and all kinds of other requirements. All that adds up as court fees and filing fees, and while personal injury lawyers won’t ask for a separate trial fee they will ask for a bigger percentage of the settlement so they can pay for all the plaintiff’s court costs. So while it may be possible to get a bigger settlement from a jury than from a defendant directly, the extra amount is often eaten up by the cost of the trial.

Trial Results Can Be Appealed

When a plaintiff and a defendant come to a settlement agreement, that’s usually the end of it. However, when a jury comes to a verdict, the party they rule against can file an appeal and keep the process going. In fact, the defendant often doesn’t have to pay out the settlement until after the last appeals hearing ends. All this can add even more costs to the lawsuit bill, and while a wealthy corporate defendant can absorb these costs they feel a lot bigger to independent plaintiffs.

When you put all this together, it’s clear why most personal injury lawyers advise their clients to reach a settlement rather than taking their case all the way to court. However, it’s also important to hire a law firm that can take your case to court, because otherwise the insurance company or corporate defendant will have a way to squeeze you at the negotiating table. So if you need a personal injury lawyer in southwest Florida, be sure to contact the All Injuries Law Firm and get an attorney who can keep going as long as necessary.