Personal Injury Case: Is It Better To Settle Out Of Court Or Go To Trial?
If you are injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to get compensation from the at-fault party. In a personal injury case, you have two options of accepting the settlement offered or proceeding to trial. The most common types of personal injury cases include car accidents, property liability, and medical malpractice. Normally, the majority of injury cases settle before going to court. Read on to learn the reasons why it is better to settle out of court instead of going to trial.
Settlement is Cheaper
The main reason why most cases settle out of court is that the process is less expensive and faster. The litigation process is costly and time-consuming, making most people prefer the option of an out-of-court settlement. Plaintiffs usually work on a contingent basis with their attorneys while defendants hire lawyers and pay hourly rates. Apart from the legal expenses, litigation also involves court costs, expert witness fees, travel expenses, and more time lost from work.
Remember that if a case settles quickly, both parties will benefit since this option is less expensive. If liability in the case is clear and both parties negotiate in good faith, there is no reason for going to court. If the plaintiff accepts the benefits offered, the case closes quickly.
Hire a Lawyer
It is vital to enlist the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are seriously injured in an accident. An attorney will handle the case on your behalf given that many victims often find it challenging to deal with the aftermath of an accident. The professional personal injury attorneys at Zervos Injury Law explain that you need to get time to focus on your recovery. Being in this unfortunate situation can make you miss important matters related to your settlement so you should let the injury attorneys deal with the case while you rest. The process involved in an injury trial can be very stressful since both parties are subjected to cross-examination.
Therefore, if you hire a personal injury attorney, you will get peace of mind. Your lawyer determines the merits of your case and advises you about the necessary measures to take. Experienced lawyers also know how to negotiate with insurance companies to reach an amicable settlement without going to court.
Damages are not Predictable
To get the settlement you deserve in a personal injury case, you must prove liability. This is the most challenging part of litigation, and the judge can exclude crucial evidence. The trial process is not foolproof, so it is not always guaranteed you will get the compensation you expect. The jury’s discretion determines what the plaintiff will receive. However, with an out-of-court settlement, the defendant and the plaintiff have control of the settlement. The two parties negotiate to reach the decision. The final decision is mutual, and it brings the case to closure once the compensation is paid.
Another benefit of out-of-court settlement is that it is private and trial is not. The details of settlements before trial remain private since the parties involved are in control of the proceedings. However, a trial in court is in the public domain and it might attract the attention of many people. This means that the members of the public can access all the details of the trial including confidential information.
Appeal a Decision
If you fail to agree with the other party on the compensation you deserve, you can file an appeal, and your case goes to trial. You should consider going to court after exhausting all other avenues. Try to negotiate a settlement to avoid the often gruelling court procedure. One thing that you should know about the trial is that it takes up to a year to begin after filing the lawsuit. The entire process of litigation can take up to four years, and this is an exceptionally long period.
However, the benefit of a trial is that you can get more compensation when an impartial judge hears your case. You need to get sound legal representation and gather the necessary evidence that will support your case. Professional injury lawyers have experience in dealing with similar issues. They will fight for a better outcome. Most lawyers work on a contingent basis, so they will do their best to ensure that you get a fair settlement.
If you are hurt due to another person’s reckless behaviour, you are entitled to get compensation from the wrongdoer. However, the compensation claim process can be tricky since it may involve different things. Settling out of court offers many advantages than going to trial which is often time-consuming so consider the mentioned points above should you need to decide if you will go to trial or settle out of court.