In all likelihood, you’ll be faced with the decision of whether or not to settle your personal injury claim once it’s made. By and large, defendants have an interest in settling out of court, as this allows them to avoid publicly admitting liability in your case. However, the terms of that settlement might not meet your expectations, or you may feel morally invested in your case. Make no mistake; deciding to settle can be difficult, but it is often the right decision. In order to guide your decision-making process, we encourage you to consider the following:
Going to Trial Will Cost More
Likely, you have an arrangement with the lawyer handling your case as to what percentage of the compensation he or she will take. This percentage will necessarily be less for compensation achieved through an out-of-court settlement as opposed to compensation achieved through a trial. Given that, you can see that going to trial will cost more. However, you should also consider the amount of time you’re taking away from your life in order to see to the case. Your time is money, too!
Trials Take an Emotional Toll
It’s important to remember that a court trial regarding your personal injury case could be quite stressful. The defendant in your case will do whatever’s necessary to avoid paying up, and this could mean that your reputation, claims and history could be dragged through the mud. Likewise, trials tend to be quite lengthy, which means that you’ll have to sit with the uncertainty of its outcome for quite some time. Settling out of court allows you to obviate the above issues entirely.
A Bird in the Hand…
… Is worth two in the bush. If you’re offered a settlement, and you feel that it meets your needs, it is almost always the best decision to take it. While you and your lawyer may believe that you have the strongest case possible, there’s no accounting for juries and judges. In short, the outcome that you hope to achieve through a trial is entirely unpredictable, and anything can happen.
Settling Lets You Retain Your Privacy
If your personal injury case goes to trial, then anything that happens in that case is made public record. If there are certain facts of the case that you’d prefer to keep private, then settling is likely the best course of action. By settling out of court, the facts of the case, testimony and other information do not enter public record.
Get Your Life Back
Make no mistake; in some cases, the best course of action is to go to trial. However, an out-of-court settlement deserves consideration if one is offered. Ultimately, the best reason to go this route is that it allows you to regain your life.
Think about all the time you’ve spent fretting over your case, meeting with lawyers, and consulting with doctors. Once the case is settled, it’s settled, and you can finally begin to move on. That may be more valuable to you than any monetary compensation you might receive through trial.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help.