Nearly all personal injury cases in the United States are settled out of court. You will be surprised to know that nearly 95% of accident cases are resolved in settlement negotiations and never reach trial in court.
Settlements are considered the convenient and rapid way to dispose of legal issues. The best resolution of any dispute is a settlement acceptable to both parties or multiple parties. There are enormous benefits of a settlement agreement if it is handled in the right way.
If you wish to make the best possible settlement, you must retain a legal professional who has excellent negotiation skills to handle all the negotiations for you. If a settlement cannot be reached or falls through, a legal professional can help you in a trial of your case as well.
Benefits Of Settling The Matter Out Of The Courtroom
Litigation is an expensive process compared to a settlement: When filing a personal injury lawsuit, a legal expert may charge for previous settlement negotiations. A contingency fee may also be demanded. Apart from paying for legal advice, an attorney will also charge for court expenses, witnesses, and other travel expenses.
Both parties must keep in mind that it is good to settle a case as early as possible. This helps save unnecessary expenses and can be less time-consuming.
However, if an insurance company is paying the plaintiff’s Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer, then it is more feasible to settle the case in the courtroom. A settlement ultimately depends upon the willingness of the defendant, the defendant’s lawyer, and especially, the defendant’s insurance company, to accept responsibility and resolve the case.
Taking a case to trial can cause stress: The overall process of trial can be quite complicated and may cause stress. There will be investigation, examination, cross-examination, and scrutiny. This can be time-consuming. However, with a settlement offer, everything is resolved out of the courtroom and all the aggravations of preparing a case are avoided.
Outcomes cannot be predicted effectively in trial: A jury may award an injured party more than expected. However, the situation can be reversed as well. Therefore, trials are quite uncertain and risky. The judge or jury may sometimes not consider the witnesses and evidence. Settlement is preferred.
Trial and Appeals are a lengthy process: It may take years to settle the matter through trials and appeals. The complete process of filing the lawsuit, calculating the worth of your claim, and demanding from the party at fault might consume years. In the settlement, both parties are aware of the fact that money will be exchanged, and can negotiate the terms by which that happens.
Why Are Settlements Advantageous For Injured People?
During the settlement process, both the parties agree to negotiate and to a fair settlement. They present different choices that will be feasible for the other party. This is because both the injured person and the party at fault wish to avoid going to trial.
This desire guides the parties to follow a particular protocol that is agreed upon by both sides. Resolution often becomes an easy task and results in reasonable settlements. The injured victim also finds it beneficial as there is the involvement of an insurance adjuster and legal representation. Due to their experience and expertise, the entire process becomes much more convenient.
The settlement process helps with the gathering of evidence, and provides clarity about the actual value of the victim’s claim. The negotiation process can reduce the complexity of the case, by providing both areas of agreement and disagreement.
How Can You Maximize The Value Of Your Claim In An Out Of Court Settlement?
You must always be clear that seeking fair compensation is your right. However, if you do not make a settlement then you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
In either case your evidence must be presented by an expert. This will increase your chances of winning compensation. Proper evidence consists of the following:
- Medical expenses;
- Police report;
- Eyewitness statements;
- Medical diagnoses;
- Financial settlements;
- Vehicle repair cost;
- Any other picture evidence that can strengthen the case.
You should not accept any settlement offer without consulting expert help. This is because you might be entitled to a greater financial award. To ensure you are going in the right direction, hire expert legal assistance to conduct your negotiations from the start.
Different Factors Influencing The Settlement Process
Various factors determine whether a settlement can be done out of court or must go for trial. Some of the principles that should be taken into consideration are as follows:
- Is your case simple or complex;
- Are the injuries sustained by you are minor or major;
- Is there some other reason to justify a substantial award;
- Is the defendant willing to settle the case or determined on a lawsuit?
There may be other factors as well. The defendant may not wish to accept fault and may believe that he will win the lawsuit or face only minimal damages.
It completely depends on the parties as to whether they want to make a settlement or take the matter to the court.