After a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you will likely settle your case out of court. Settling out of court can save both parties time and money. However, you'll want to consider the pros and cons of settling out of court before you make your final decision.
Settling Out of Court Saves Money
Going to trial can be lengthy and expensive; settling out of court can help avoid those costs. For example, you must pay court fees, fees for serving documents, and other expenses related to going to trial. However, if you win your case, you may be reimbursed for all your court fees.
You Will Have More Control
If your case goes to trial, you will have less control over the outcome. The judge is ultimately in charge of the courtroom, and the jury has the final say in whether you will reach a settlement. However, you'll be able to appeal any decision.
With a settlement, both parties can negotiate and reach an agreement that works for them. Therefore, if you do not like a particular settlement offer, you can ask for a different amount. An attorney will help you build a strong case for why your case is worth more than the settlement offer.
Settlements Are Less Stressful
Going to trial is much more stressful than settling a case out of court. Your personal injury attorney can handle the entire process. In contrast, when going to trial, you must attend court and may be questioned by the defendant's legal team. However, even trying to settle out of court can be stressful since you must negotiate with the other party.
You Might Receive More in Damages
Settling out of court may seem like a quick and easy solution, but it's essential to consider the potential downsides. With the involvement of a judge or jury, it can be easier to determine a fair settlement amount. The judge and jury are supposed to be neutral and impartial.
Meanwhile, everyone involved in a settlement negotiation has a stake in the case's outcome. One exception is a third-party mediation service where a private party will oversee your case and help you reach an agreement.
Winning a Trial Can Be More Rewarding
Settling out of court means the defendant is not held publicly accountable for their actions, which can be frustrating. There is also a risk that the settlement amount may only cover some of your expenses, such as ongoing medical treatment or lost wages.
With a trial, you may receive more compensation because you will also be entitled to punitive damages. However, every case is different, and speaking with your personal injury attorney about how best to proceed is essential.
Contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn more.