In the aftermath of an accident, you will need to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for the losses you experienced. The settlement can take two courses. You can decide to settle it outside the court or take the case to trial.
There is no wrong choice. Each claim is different and should be handled accordingly. However, many claims are settled out-of-court. To determine the value of a personal injury claim and get fair compensation, seek the help of an experienced injury attorney. Also, the lawyer will advise you on the best way to settle your case.
That said, let us look at the advantages and disadvantages of settling your injury claim out of court.
Pros & Cons Of Settling An Injury Claim Out Of Court
1. Faster Settlement
Litigation is a lengthy process. It could take months or even years before your case goes to court. What happens if you need financial compensation to settle your hospital bills? Unless of very complex issues, it will save time and money if the parties involved agree to resolve the matter out of court.
What’s more, you will be saving yourself the stress that comes with court trials. Having to be in court frequently while still nursing injuries is not suitable for your physical and mental health. Consider settling for arbitration, where your involvement is not much needed.
2. You Are Assured Of Compensation
With a settlement, both parties negotiate a deal. The victim demands an amount, and the insurance company agrees or negotiates to an amount they are comfortable with. Followed by a non-disclosure agreement. Though the negotiation might be intense and take some time, you will receive compensation.
On the other hand, if you take the matter to court, you do not have control over how much you will get. The issue is left for the jury to decide, and you might end up getting a smaller amount or, worse, lose the case.
When a lawsuit goes to court, it becomes public. If you prefer to keep the matter private because you want to maintain a relationship with the defendant or are not comfortable publicizing your injuries, then go the settlement way.
4. Saves You Money
Court proceedings come with extra expenses like court filing fees, depositions, transcripts, expert witnesses fees, to mention a few. Also, the attorney fees will go up because you will have to pay them throughout the trial, which might take months.
With all those expenses, a larger percentage of your compensation will go to your attorney. To minimize the costs, settle your case outside the court.
1. You Might Not Get Your Rightful Compensation
You will get compensation when you go for settlement, but you might not get what you deserve. If the other party refuses to listen to your bargain, you will have no choice but to settle for their offer.
What’s more, by settling early, you will be risking bearing any financial burden that arises from the injuries in the future. Taking your case to court allows you maximum compensation for past and future medical expenses.
2. No Access to Punitive Damages
If you settle the claim in court and the defendant is found guilty of being negligent by choice or in bad faith, you are entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the party at fault and serve as a warning to others. Out of court settlements do not factor in the additional sum of punitive damages.
You Need The Help Of A Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance companies will lure you to settle with them without an injury lawyer so they can take advantage of your ignorance of the law. Consider hiring the services of an experienced injury attorney to protect your best interest through your recovery process.