If you’ve been injured and another party is legally at fault, you’ve probably already thought about filing a personal injury claim. But did you know that 95-96% of personal injury cases are actually settled out of court, before they ever go to trial? The best lawyers will tell you that there are many reasons why settling pretrial can actually be very advantageous for both parties involved. Although you might want your day in court — and be tempted by the possibility of bigger personal injury settlements — here are three big reasons you should consider settling your personal injury case out of court.
You might think a simple personal injury lawsuit won’t drag on, but in reality, the entire process can last up to three or four years. Trials themselves can last days or weeks, but often, a trial won’t even occur until more than a year after the claim has been filed. Trial outcomes can be further delayed if one party appeals the ruling. Conversely, personal injury settlements can be settled quickly, as both parties privately agree to the terms; settlement money can be exchanged, and the matter can be put to rest — and you can get on with your life.
- Less expensive
There’s no doubt about it: trials are expensive. You’ll usually pay an attorney by the hour, plus a contingency fee agreement. When trials last for a prolonged period of time, the attorney fees can be astronomical. Most of the time, both parties would rather save their money where they can; they enlist the help of their legal representation for pretrial negotiations, but don’t have to pay throughout a lengthy trial on top of a contingency fee.
- Less stressful and unpredictable
Trials not only present a financial stress, but they can cause an emotional one, too. The build-up of a trial alone can be cause for anxiety, and being cross-examined on the witness stand can be downright nerve-wracking. Trials are also public knowledge, which can be an added source of distress — especially for public figures, well-known members of the community, or important companies. The unpredictable outcome of a trial can also be particularly stress-inducing; not knowing who will win, what evidence will be excluded, and how much a settlement will be can take its toll on both parties. In a settlement, each party works with a lawyer to come up with acceptable terms, and those terms will then be negotiated until an agreement can be reached on both sides. These proceedings can often be more civilized and less distressing than going to trial.
Personal injury settlements don’t often sound as appealing to those filing a claim, but it can often be a much better solution for everyone involved. If you find yourself in need of representation after an accident, be sure to contact a personal injury attorney.