Out of Court Settlements vs. Trial: What’s Right for You?
When you’re injured due to another person’s negligence, recovering compensation for your harm is of the utmost importance. What’s more, you don’t want to suffer unreasonable delays in recovering your compensation award—you should be compensated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, getting the settlement offer that you deserve in a timely manner can be complicated.
It’s possible that you could be offered less than you deserve, and your claim may even be so disputed that you’re not offered a settlement at all. That said, as you navigate the claims process and recover from your injuries, you’ll likely wonder how to best settle your claim—should you settle out of court, or go to trial? Here are some things to consider when determining what’s right for you.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm today to request a free consultation.
How Serious Are Your Injuries and Damages?
The first thing to think about when considering how to settle your claim is whether or not your injuries are serious and your damages severe. In most cases, the more serious your injuries are, the more you have suffered in financial losses. If this is the case, then accepting a settlement offer that is much less than you deserve may be unthinkable. Recovering an award that fully compensates you for your losses may be absolutely necessary in order to move forward with your future in a financially viable way.
Whether you decide to stick out the settlement process or file a lawsuit depends on many factors, but either way, be sure to never accept the first settlement offer, especially if your losses are serious.
How Strong of a Case Do You Have?
Another consideration when weighing whether or not to file a lawsuit is how strong your case is. You likely should not settle your case out of court if you match most of the following:
- If fault is disputed
- There aren’t any witnesses who can speak to your side of the story
- You are partially liable for your injuries and damages
- You don’t have an attorney
- You don’t have the resources to recruit the necessary experts to build your case
On the other hand, if your case is a “slam dunk” and you’re confident that you will get more by going to court, filing a lawsuit and letting a jury decide what you’re owed may be a better course of action.
How Much Time (and Money) Do You Have?
Settling a case out of court is almost always the ideal option for both parties involved (you, the plaintiff, the insurer, and the defendant). This is because settling a case takes less time, is less expensive, and allows both parties to reach an agreement rather than having the case be decided by a court, which can be stressful. Indeed, if you file a lawsuit, there is no guarantee that the court will side in your favor.
Filing a lawsuit is a big commitment and requires plenty of time and resources. If you think that reaching a settlement out of court is plausible (even if it’s not as much as you may receive via a court verdict), and you don’t want to commit any more time or money to your case, then filing a lawsuit probably isn’t advised. (Note that if you do file a lawsuit, reaching a settlement before actually going to trial is still possible).
Have You Spoken with a Lawyer?
Perhaps what should be most influential in your decision to pursue litigation or to settle your case out of court through negotiations is the opinion of your lawyer. If you have not already spoken to an attorney about your case, this should be your first priority. Speaking to an attorney is key because they will know whether or not you have a strong case, what the probable outcome of litigation will be, and what your chances are of settling for a fair compensation award. What’s more, your attorney can also represent you in negotiations, as well as help you to collect evidence that’s critical for your case.
Get Legal Help Today
We hope you have a better idea of whether out of court settlements or going to trial is right for you. If you have yet to have your case reviewed by a personal injury attorney, now’s the time. At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we can review your case free of charge today. To learn more, please call our law office directly or send us a message at your convenience.