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Pros and Cons of Settling Your Personal Injury Case Out of Court

By Butler Prather LLP on August 7, 2019

No two personal injury cases are alike, and there are different ways to reach a positive outcome. Today, we want to clear up some of the confusion you may have about what it means to settle a personal injury case out of court.

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are either going to settle it through negotiations with the other side or the case will go to the courtroom. If a case goes to trial, it will be argued in front of a jury who will make the ultimate determination as to whether damages should be awarded and how much they should be.

Pros and Cons of Settling Your Personal Injury Case Out of Court

Pros of settling a personal injury case out of court

There are various advantages of settling a personal injury claim out of court, including:

  • Reduced Stress: This is one of the main reasons for settling out of court. Going to trial can be stressful for you, especially if you are dealing with ongoing treatment and recovery from your injuries. This is already a stressful period in your life, and an out of court settlement could reduce the burden.
  • Guaranteed payout: Settlements mean there is a higher likelihood of collecting the amount agreed upon. In a settlement negotiation, the other side is fully involved and is a part of the final agreement.
  • Predictable outcome: Taking a case to trial means there is no way to predict how much a jury will award in a case, if they decide to award any money at all. A settlement is much more predictable when it comes to damages.
  • Less costly: Trials are costly and require time and effort, hiring expert witnesses, depositions, and more. All of that would come out of your eventual damage payout. Settling out of court will cost less in attorney fees and expenses.
  • Less time: Trials can drag on for months or even years. Settlements usually take much less time for a final agreement.
  • More privacy: The details of a settlement can be kept private, whereas a trial will put everything into the public record.
  • These settlements are final: The other side cannot appeal the final decision in a settlement that they agree upon.

Cons of settling a personal injury case out of court

There are also several reasons you may not want to settle a personal injury claim out of court, including:

  • Less money than you should get: There is a risk of getting less money than you otherwise expected or deserve. When a case goes to trial, it is left in the hands of a jury.
  • No punitive damages available: Settlement amounts are not usually going to take punitive damages into account, which can take away damages for emotional and psychological trauma.

What kind of compensation could I get for a personal injury case?

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, company, or entity, you could be entitled to significant compensation. This includes both easily calculable things as well as non-economic damages.

  • Coverage of medical expenses (current and future predicted)
  • Recovery of lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the negligent party

Speak to a qualified attorney

A qualified Atlanta personal injury attorney will be able to help you make the decision about whether or not to settle out of court. An attorney has the experience you need in this matter.

Posted in: Personal Injury

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