The Pros and Cons of Settling a Personal Injury Case out of Court
As Personal Injury Trial Lawyers, the lawyers at Sawan & Sawan have settled countless cases through our combined 35+ years of legal experience. If you have been involved in a truck accident, car accident or other personal injury accident, you may be wondering if you should settle your case. The simple truth of personal injury settlements is this – there is no “one-size fits all” answer to whether a personal injury claim should be settled. Determining whether to settle you personal injury claim involves consideration of all of the pros and cons of trial versus a mediated or negotiated resolution. Let’s take a look at these pros and cons brought to you by the family of Personal Injury Lawyers at Sawan & Sawan.
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The Pros of Out of Court Settlements
In a typical Personal Injury case, there are a number of good reasons why you would may want to negotiate a settlement short of a trial. These advantages include:
- Reduction of Stress – A lawsuit is, by it’s nature, an adversarial process. Due to this, the process of getting to a trial can be long and draining. If you have never been involved in a lawsuit, you may quickly find that the entire experience is adding stress to an already stressful situation. Settling your personal injury case can help to alleviate the stress by bringing the matter to a smooth close.
- Better Chance at “Succeeding” – No matter how clear your personal injury case seems, you should always be wary of over confidence in the outcome. Court cases are extremely complex and a trial can be very unpredictable. A settlement offers you the ability to ensure some semblance of “success” by granting you a level of control of the outcome.
- Efficiency – The Court process can be extremely time consuming as well. While most Courts are extremely efficient at controlling their dockets, the rules of civil procedure allow for time periods for responses, discovery, etc. that operate to inevitably slow the process down. Some case can take multiple years before a trial is held. A settlement can help to provide efficient resolution when a matter is dragging on.
- Privacy – When you settle a personal injury claim out of Court, the documents and amounts involved are often subject to a confidentiality provision that precludes either party to the settlement from discussing the details. For many injured victims, this privacy is appreciated.
The Cons of Out of Court Settlements
In a typical Personal Injury case, there are also some reasons why you may not wish to negotiate a settlement short of a trial. These considerations include:
- Inadequate Compensation – Especially in highly disputed cases, trial can often be the only way to ensure fair and complete compensation. This is due to the fact that times, the parties simply cannot agree on the fair value of a personal injury claim. It’s also worth remembering that rushing to settlement can mean that subsequent injuries are not incorporated into the settlement – lowering the amount.
- No Punitive Damages – In some particularly egregious circumstances, punitive damages may be available to punish or deter certain conduct. However, it is often difficult or impossible to obtain these damages in the course of a settlement.
- No Admission of Fault – Many settlements have clauses that state that no party is accepting fault. For many, this is a difficult fact to accept. However, personal injury victims need to balance this lack of acceptance of wrongdoing against the pros outlined above.
Need More Information?
Always talk to a Personal Injury about your case before determining if it is advisable to negotiate a settlement. If you’ve been injured and are seeking compensation for a truck accident, car accident or other personal injury, you need a law firm with a proven track record with both trials and out of Court settlements. Contact Sawan & Sawan today at 419-900-0955 for a free consultation and case review.
About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo, Ohio based law firm representing clients in the areas of Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, and Car Accidents with lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan