If you have sustained injuries in an accident caused by another party, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recoup your losses. Your personal injury lawyer will discuss all of your options with you, including settling with the insurance company or taking your case to trial. While the majority of personal injury cases get settled out of court, sometimes it’s more beneficial to go to trial. There are positives and negatives to settling out of court.
Advantages of Settling Out of Court
- You will save time. It often takes many months or even years to prepare a personal injury case for trial. Dealing with a long legal process can be quite stressful. If you decide to settle your case out of court, your litigation can end in just a few months.
- You will have a predictable outcome. Nobody can predict the outcome of a trial. Even if you think you have a strong case, there’s no guarantee that the jury will side with you. On the other hand, if you decide to settle your case, you will be guaranteed compensation.
- You will have less stress. Preparing for a trial and answering questions on the witness stand can all be very stressful. It may feel like you’re reliving your accident because you have to discuss the details in court. If you settle your case, you can avoid all that stress.
- You will have more privacy. If you take your personal injury case to trial, your case will become a public record. If you are well-known in the community, you might not be comfortable with people knowing about your injury case. By settling out of court, you can protect your privacy.
Disadvantages of Settling Out of Court
- You may get a lower settlement. Insurance companies care about their bottom line first, so they’ll often offer lower settlements in hopes that you will avoid going to trial.
- You won’t be able to pursue future legal action. Once you accept a settlement, that’s final. If you discover additional evidence in the future or find out that your injury is worse than you originally thought, you won’t be able to do anything about it.
- The defendant doesn’t have to admit liability. If you don’t present your personal injury case in front of a judge and jury, the defendant won’t have to take responsibility for his or her actions.