When you’ve been injured because of the negligent actions of others, you can file a personal injury claim. With this action, you’re standing up for your rights to compensation and will hold the person accountable for their negligence. While you may think this automatically means your case will go to court, there are a few steps before that phase. It’s possible you may settle your case out of court.
This situation has a few advantages and disadvantages. However, when you’re pursuing legal action, you should always have representation on your side. A personal injury lawyer from Golden Law Office will explain your options to you so you can decide on how to proceed that best fits your interests.
Before making a decision, you should have the information about out-of-court settlements and how they may be beneficial and when you may want to consider other options.
Out-of-Court Settlements: The Advantages
Let’s start with the advantages of out-of-court settlements. These typically center around time and money, but there are other aspects you may have not yet considered.
When you reach a settlement payout, you’ll usually arrive at this faster than you’d receive a jury verdict in a courtroom. If you do go the courtroom route, you do not know how long the case could take. You could be fighting your case for months and even years. As a person with financial losses and other damages from an accident, you may have expenses due before that final day in court.
Another advantage to settling your case out of court is you’re guaranteed compensation. You and the other party will reach a settlement agreement and you’ll receive the payout. Then, you can get started on paying back medical expenses, affording current treatment, and keeping up with other financial responsibilities that have become harder to deal with since the accident.
You save courtroom costs when you settle your case. If your case goes to trial and it takes a long time, those court costs can add up to expensive amounts. Unfortunately, this may not be a viable option for some people. Exhausting funds spread out over time may also make you lose steam for pursuing your case. When you’re going the settlement route, you know you’ll have compensation at the end of it.
When a case goes to court, the trial becomes public. The news may report on it and your name and story will be out there for everyone to see. While you haven’t done anything wrong, it may feel invasive for the public to know all about what happened to you, how you were hurt, and what you’re seeking for it. People may make uninformed opinions and not have the full story—and those judgments from strangers can hurt. When you settle, you have control over this and can keep the matter private.
Now that you have the advantages, you may be thinking settling your case is the right move. However, you need to know the disadvantages as well so you can accurately weigh your options. Let’s get into the disadvantages of settling outside of the court room.
Out-of-Court Settlements: The Disadvantages
While settlements certainly have many pros, the cons may be enough to make you pause and think about which option is best for you.
Settling your case will guarantee compensation, but it may not be as much as you’re rightfully owed. You have to reach an agreement with the other side and they may be unwilling to cooperate. Also, if you settle early, you may not even know the full extent of your injuries and therefore will not have the clear picture of how much compensation you should be asking for. Going to court will allow you to fight for full compensation—with a lawyer at your side who has carefully evaluated your case and will seek to maximize your compensation. This can provide great peace of mind when it comes to paying for past and future medical care.
Cannot Make Defendant Pay Compensation
When you settle, the other side does not have to pay compensation if they’re being difficult during negotiations. Taking them to court means that if the jury sides with you, then the defendant will have to pay compensation.
Cannot Pursue Legal Action
If you agree to a settlement, you may not be legally eligible to pursue any further action. So, if you have a lower award at the end of the settlement, that’s the amount you have and the matter is handled regardless of how you’re feeling. You may have had a much higher award if you had taken your case to court.
Speak with an Experienced Lawyer
Golden Law Office provides legal aid to those who were wrongfully injured. When we go over your case in an obligation-free consultation, we will talk about your options and which one may be more beneficial to you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re prepared to explain everything so you are able to make a well-informed decision.