If you are in the stages of negotiating settlement offers in your personal injury case and are wondering if you should accept the settlement or proceed to sue in court, there are a few things you need to consider before making your decision. Read on to find out if you would be better off settling or suing in your case.
Settling Your Case
Most personal injury lawsuits never make it into a trial. Most cases are able to be settled quietly without involving a judge or jury. The main benefits of settlement, as opposed to going to court for a trial, include the following:
- You will receive your compensation money faster.
- You won't pay as much in attorney's fees.
- You don't have to go through the hassle of attending numerous hearings, extra depositions, and the trial itself.
- You have the benefit of knowing how much you will receive. If the case goes to trial it is left up to the jury, whose decision is usually highly unpredictable.
The main concern is the risk of losing your case at trial because this may mean that you won't receive any compensation at all. If the settlement amount offered was considerable, you may want to seriously consider just accepting the settlement. If you think the risk of losing the trial is minimal and the settlement offer was nowhere near your estimated value of the accident claim, you may want to consider going to court.
Taking Your Case to Court
If settlement is inadvisable - for example, if the settlement offer amount was unreasonably low or the insurance company has made no settlement offers at all - you may just want to take your case to court.
Your lawyer will help you file your lawsuit in court, and then serve the the complaint to the defendant. Both sides will then proceed to request information from the other to build their respective cases. After all this is done, a trial will take place before a judge or jury to lay out your case. This entire process is usually very time-consuming - sometimes taking years to complete - so you must be prepared for a drawn-out process.
Settlement During a Lawsuit
One thing to keep in mind is that you can always still settle your case - even if you have filed a lawsuit - as long as a verdict has not yet been entered.
Of course each personal injury case is different, so consult with a lawyer, such as KIM Personal Injury & Insurance Lawyers, to see what options are the best route for your own case.