Personal Injury Attorney: When Should You Settle Out of Court?

If the accused party in your case wants to avoid a lawsuit, they may try to settle your case outside of court. Settling outside of court has several advantages, which is why your personal injury attorney may encourage you to agree to this type of legal resolution.

Ask a Personal Injury Attorney: When Should You Settle Out of Court?

In general, you may want to agree to an out-of-court settlement if it looks like the trial for your case will take a long time. If you need to recover compensation more quickly to replace lost wages or pay medical bills, settling your case through mediation or a compromise agreement can be a better option than going to court.

It may also be a good idea to settle outside of court if you want to reduce stress so you can focus on your recovery or if your lawyer believes it is likely that going to court will be too big a risk.

How Common Is It to Settle Outside of Court?

An estimated 90% of legal cases are settled outside of court. Much of the time, out-of-court settlements occur when the liable party realizes that litigation will be more expensive and that settling can reduce certain consequences. 

Because the outcome of a trial is more uncertain than the outcome of a settlement, it can be a better idea to settle quickly if it’s possible you are partly liable for your personal injuries.

What Are the Advantages of a Settlement?

Settlements are completed much more quickly than a trial that involves a judge and jury, which can be an advantage for both the victim and the liable party. A settlement also gives each party more control over how the case is concluded, since mediation gives both parties the opportunity to negotiate. As a victim of a personal injury, you can use the possibility of a lawsuit to leverage more benefits in your settlement. 

Opting for a settlement can also be beneficial in terms of legal fees. A trial in court will take much longer and involve more billable hours for attorneys, as well as other costs such as court filings. A settlement, on the other hand, can be more affordable. Even if you hired your lawyer on a contingency fee basis, paying for your lawyer with part of your out-of-court settlement will be less costly than paying for your lawyer after a court trial. 

What Can You Expect From Your Settlement Process?

The settlement process can take only a few days or several weeks, depending on how cooperative each party is during settlement negotiations. A settlement or compromise agreement is a type of contract that must be signed by mutual agreement between both parties. Some elements of your settlement agreement can include a clause for no admission of liability, a promise to pay agreement, and a mutual release clause. Ask a Folkman Law attorney more about what you can expect from your settlement process.

Settlement of your legal dispute for a personal injury out of court may be a better option if you need to recover compensation quickly or if you want to avoid the stress of a prolonged court trial. A settlement is legally binding and can be done at any time before the legal trial for a lawsuit begins. 

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