Most personal injury cases settle outside the courtroom, and with good reason. Here are four reasons it's best to pursue a settlement outside the courtroom:
1. You Avoid the Costs of Litigation
A litigated injury case incurs more costs than a similar injury that is settled outside the courtroom. The main reason for this is that there are many costs that you incur only after you file a lawsuit. Settling your case outside the courtroom will help you avoid such costs. Even your lawyer's fee increase if your case proceeds to court because they get to do more work. Examples of costs that increase or only exist if you go to court include expert witness fees, production of document fees, and costs of depositions, among others.
2. You Avoid Trial Uncertainty
When an insurance adjuster offers you $100,000 for a claim, you are sure that you will get that money if you accept the offer. If you reject the offer and file a lawsuit, you can't be sure on the award you will get. The judge or jury may award you nothing, the $100,000, or even more than the $100,000 – nothing is certain. Moreover, you may even be awarded a good sum only for the defendant to appeal the case and get the award reduced. An out-of-court settlement helps you to avoid all this uncertainty.
3, You Get Your Settlement Faster
If you can manage to settle your case out of court, you will be able to get your money as soon as you reach an agreement. When you file a lawsuit, however, you should be prepared for a lengthy wait for your money (assuming you win). Some litigated cases even take years to conclude, especially if the defendant loses and lodges an appeal. In some cases, you may even be forced to start a separate process to collect your judgment, which may lengthen the process of recovery even further.
4. You May Keep the Settlement Secret
Lastly, some people also prefer out-of-court settlements because it allows them to keep their payouts secret. If such an arrangement appeals to you, then you should know that you won't enjoy it if your case is concluded in court because court settlements are a matter of public record.
While an out-of-court settlement is good, it doesn't mean that you should not file a lawsuit. There comes a time when an out-of-court settlement fails and you have to go to court. If you have retained an personal injury lawyer for the case, they will advise you when this time comes.