No two personal injury claims are the same. While some Coloradans might benefit from taking their case to court, others may find the advantages of taking an out-of-court settlement outweigh the benefit of a court case. A good personal injury attorney will recognize this and will carefully consider the details of your case, as well as your personal needs and desires, to make the right decision about how to handle your particular situation.
If your lawyer has suggested that you consider settling your case out of court, you may have quite a few questions. Is this the best course of action for achieving a favorable outcome? How do you stand to benefit from settling outside of the courtroom? Are there any other important factors that should be considered? To clear the air on this topic, we’ve dedicated this post to exploring the advantages associated with taking an out-of-court settlement and some of the factors to consider when deciding whether to settle your case.
What Is an Out-of-Court Settlement?
First things first. Before we can look at the advantages of settling outside of court, we first need to know what an out-of-court settlement is. Even in out-of-court settlements, the expertise of personal injury attorneys is required to advise you on the value of your case and the risks and benefits of settlement and trial. Instead of appearing before a judge and/or jury, though, your attorney and the opposing party’s attorney will come to a resolution outside of the courtroom. Typically, this results after the parties have engaged in negotiations and reached an agreement on the value of the settlement. Your attorney will consult with you during settlement negotiations and obtain your permission to engage in negotiations and make settlement offers to the other side.
Advantages of Taking an Out-of-Court Settlement
If you and your lawyer decide to settle your case out of court, you may enjoy several advantages, including:
- Less Stress – Going through the process of taking a case before a judge and jury can be very stressful. Not only will you have to appear in front of strangers in the courtroom, but you’ll also need to be regularly available for appearances and questioning throughout the entire litigation process. Settling out of court will allow you to avoid this level of stress.
- Certainty of Collection – When a defendant is ordered to pay a sum of money to you in court, they have a lot more wiggle room when it comes to avoiding payments. For example, the defendant may declare bankruptcy or drag out the finality of the case by filing an appeal. When taking a settlement, you have a much higher degree of certainty when it comes to being able to collect the compensation you are entitled to.
- Fewer Expenses – Going to trial can get expensive. Unlike your attorney, who is probably working on a contingent fee basis, expert witnesses charge for their time to testify, preparing to testify, and traveling to testify. You may be able to cut down on these types of costs by settling out of court.
- Faster Agreement – Settling out of court is generally a lot faster than taking a case to trial where it can take years for the final judgment to happen.
- Finality – Unlike judge or jury decisions, settlements cannot be appealed. This allows you to achieve finality on the case and move on with your life.
Other Considerations of Taking an Out-of-Court Settlement
Before making a final decision about whether or not you should settle your case outside of court, you should be aware that settlements require compromise and may result in a plaintiff receiving less than a judge or jury may award. However, sometimes a judge or jury awards less to a plaintiff than what was offered before going to trial. That is one reason why over 90% of all cases settle before going to trial.
Together with your attorney, you’ll need to assess the risks versus the potential rewards of going to trial. A skilled attorney will be able to thoroughly advise you on the risks and benefits of your case so that you can make an informed decision about whether to settle out of court.
Do you have more questions about out-of-court settlements? Could an out-of-court settlement be right for you? Learn more by calling the experts at Mintz Law Firm today.