Personal injury suits come in many shapes and sizes and degrees of severity. A skilled and thoughtful attorney will never recommend a particular path to justice without first considering each individual case’s merits and the details of the injury itself.
Let’s say you suffered a broken leg in a car accident. The other driver was at fault, and you now have many medical bills to pay and lost income to recover. Additionally, your injury left you with some permanent ability loss. Maybe you recovered your basic ability to walk, but you’ll never fully recover your entire range of motion or flexibility again.
If there are thousands of cases just like this one every year, why do some go to court, while others settle out of court? There are a number of factors that come into play when a defendant in a personal injury suit chooses to settle.
When the defendant pushes to settle out of court
A defendant may have a number of reasons why he or she wishes to settle. The case itself may feature overwhelming evidence of the defendant’s fault. Allowing the suit to go to trial would only cost the defendant more in legal fees before the court hands a settlement to the injured party.
It is also possible that the circumstances of the injury could create a nightmare of public relations for the defendant, and it is in one’s best interest to settle quietly to avoid unwanted negative publicity.
However, settling out of court is not always in the best interest of the injured party. A defendant will often offer to pay much less in damages in exchange for avoiding the hassle and uncertainty of court. Just because you have the option to settle your injury claim does not always mean that you should — it means that you should get proper legal counsel before you make any definitive moves.
When the plaintiff wants to settle
In some cases, the injured party deserves fair compensation, but does not necessarily have the leverage to get everything they deserve quickly or easily. This could stem from inconclusive evidence fault surrounding the injury, or may just mean that other parties (such as the defendant’s insurers) make a compensation offer that is acceptable.
It may be tempting to settle for less than you deserve because the defendant makes an offer and you can feel the mounting pressure of bills, medical costs and lost income. However, you should take care to consult with an experienced attorney before accepting any settlement for an injury — a legal professional may identify weaknesses in a settlement that you missed, and help you see a larger picture of long-term justice.
Get strong counsel for a strong outcome
It is possible that settling your personal injury claim is the best option for your case, and you will still benefit from strong legal guidance to help you achieve the best results. A settlement scenario does not do away with negotiation altogether, but it keeps the matter out of the legal system, avoiding a host of legal costs and often necessary risks for both parties.
With proper legal guidance, you can confidently negotiate a strong settlement for you injury, while ensuring that your rights remain secured throughout the process.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001