The vast majority of personal injury cases are usually settled out of court. Even though it is unlikely that your case will go to trial, it is good what to expect in the event that yours does end up in court.
Sometimes settling might not be in your best interest. Your personal injury attorney should be able to advise you on the right thing to do after analyzing your case. That is why you should hire an attorney with vast experience so that you know your options.
Even if you hire an attorney, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of settling and taking your case to trial. Here are some of the factors you should have in mind when choosing between settling and going to trial:
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE CLAIM?
It can be a complicated decision to settle or go to trial. You must take several factors into consideration. The most important question you’ll have to answer is how much is the case worth? Once you’ve determined the worth of the case, you can weigh the options of either going to trial or settling on what has been offered.
The only way you can truly know the value of the claim is by consulting with a personal injury attorney. They will ensure that every possible expense and loss is being included in the final compensation for the injury claim. A good personal injury will evaluate your claim and determine the compensation that you can get via a settlement or trial. Then, you can decide which option is best for you.
ARE YOU GETTING A GOOD SETTLEMENT OFFER?
Another factor to consider is the value of the settlement offer made by the insurance company. If the insurance company is not willing to make a fair offer, then it may be in your best interest to take your case to trial. But, if the insurance company is making an offer that is close to the value of your case, it may be best to settle so you can reach a quicker resolution.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SETTLING A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled outside of the courtroom. Why? Because settling a personal injury case offers a number of advantages, including:
You’ve probably never gone through a trial before and you will not know what to expect from the process. A trial can be extremely stressful for both parties involved. You could be subjected to cross-examination, which can be an intense experience. The weeks before the trial can also be expensive and labor-intensive for the plaintiff and the attorney.
On the other hand, reaching a settlement is typically not nearly as stressful. For this reason, many victims prefer this option.
Level of Risk
There are no guarantees that you will get the compensation that you’re looking for when the case goes to trial. Trials are known to be notoriously unpredictable. Even the most obvious case could turn around completely. You never know whether or not the jury will rule in your favor, so you are taking a big risk by going to trial when you could accept a settlement without ever going to court.
Trials Can Take Years
You could reach a settlement in a matter of months, but your case could take years to resolve if it goes to trial. Even if you manage to win the case, getting paid will be another challenge altogether. The defendant could prolong the case by appealing the outcome.
They could do so in order to buy time and avoid paying you for as long as possible, and there is nothing you can do to influence the court’s decision. Many personal injury cases that go to trial take years to resolve. If you’re not willing to wait this long to receive compensation for your injuries, a settlement may be best.
Trials Are Not Private
If you reach a settlement, the terms of the agreement are private, which means they are not made available to the public. But, this is not the case with trial records. You can forget about privacy the moment the case goes to trial. It is very rare for the judge to order for all records to be sealed. All the witness testimonies and anything else that could make you look bad will be available for the public to scrutinize.