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Settlement Pros and Cons

You may have heard that settling a case outside of court is complicated and oftentimes wrong, but what you don’t know is that there are several pros to cons to consider when settling outside of court. When deciding whether this choice is right for you or not, there are several things to take into account: how badly you were injured, how much time you had to take off from work, the amount of money that was spent during your recovery, and how much pain/stress was caused by the event. These factors should help you decide whether you want to settle instead of going to court.

Every case is different, so, depending on your situation, choosing to settle may be the right choice for you. If you hate dealing with court, taking extra time out of your life and job, and giving up your privacy, then settling may be the choice for you. How you decide to handle the case is based on your personal preferences and this list of pros and cons should help you determine whether you want to settle out of court or not.

PROS:

  • Guaranteed settlement money. When you settle outside of court, the party is required to pay the agreed-upon settlement at a required date. There is no waiting and wondering when you will be getting your money.
  • Less money spent on the process. Let’s face it, legal expenses can add up quickly. There will be no court fees and other fees for the time spent trying to settle the dispute.
  • Less time. You won’t have to take extra time out of your life or from work. You may need to appear in court at unexpected times and have to take more time off work, which could create bigger problems.
  • More privacy. Instead of revealing your private business to a room full of strangers, you will be able to set a private meeting to settle your dispute. Even better for your privacy, cases that end with a mediated settlement and never go to court never need to go public at all. Court records are public records, but mediations are entirely confidential. If you have a reason to want to keep the details of your claim on a need-to-know basis, then you should talk to your attorney about trying to settle first.
  • Reduced amount of stress and burden. Fighting an insurance company is going to be stressful unless you are a skilled lawyer yourself who knows what it is like to manage a claim in the courtroom. Even if you are confident that your attorney will represent you well, it is likely that you will feel stress each day that your case is pending. Reaching a settlement will wrap up all loose ends sooner than later, letting you relax again and put the entire situation behind you.

CONS:

  • Less money. When you settle, you won’t get as much money as you would if a judge were to decide. The settlement amount is almost always less than what you would get in the courtroom if you won.
  • No admittance to guilt by either party. There would be no one admitting guilt and there would be no public record of the wrongdoing.
  • Give up rights to pursue any further legal action. When you settle, you are giving up any rights to pursue any further legal action towards them.
  • Dissatisfaction with the result. Some people do not want to settle their injury claim out of fear that they will always be dissatisfied with the result, even when it is an objectively great one. They find themselves frequently questioning what a judge would have ordered the defendant to pay had the claim gone to litigation and ended in their favor. It is important to remember that the other side of this line of thinking is what would have happened if the case went to court and the defendant won? Talk to your attorney if you are feeling reluctant to settle because you are worried you might not like the result no matter what.

Settling in court can ease the process, get you a guaranteed amount of money, and take less time. If your injuries were not significant enough to go to court, settling is the right choice. For further questions, call the Brothers at Law at (757) 330-3425 or fill out the online contact form.

*Note these are generalities about the settlement process and exact circumstances will vary case by case.

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