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Most of the time, injury claims are not tried in court. Instead, they are settled out of court between you and the other party’s insurance company.

When you have an out-of-court settlement, your case is settled through negotiations. When you go to trial, your compensation is decided by a judge and jury inside a courtroom.

Here, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an out-of-court settlement.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF OUT OF COURT SETTLEMENTS FACTORS

Factors to Consider

Before we dive in, note that the particular facts of your case and how you want it resolved are key factors in deciding whether to settle out of court.

An experienced injury attorney in Georgia can help you decide whether you should settle out of court. Your injury attorney can advise you about:

  • The strength of your case by analyzing similar cases and jury awards, 
  • Your odds of winning at trial, and 
  • How the amount of any proposed settlement compares to the amount you could win at trial.

ADVANTAGES OF COURT SETTLEMENTS FACTORS:

Out-of-Court Settlement Advantages

Often, the benefits of settling out of court outweigh the costs associated with doing so. Among other advantages, settling out of court lowers your expenses and provides a faster, certain, and absolute end to your case.

Lower Expenses 

When you decide to take a case to trial, there are many expenses associated with doing so. These include higher attorney fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees. Additionally, you might miss time from work to attend depositions and meetings with your attorney.

Certainty

If you choose to settle out of court, you eliminate the risk of not receiving compensation from trial. When going to trial, you run the risk of losing. If you lose, you may not be awarded any compensation.

If you choose to settle out of court, even for an amount that is less than you had hoped for, you at least get some amount of compensation for your injury.

Speediness

Courts are busy throughout the year. As a result, trials can be scheduled years away from the time of an accident. If you choose to settle out of court, you won’t have to wait years for an outcome.

Privacy

When a case goes to trial, court documents become public records. Then, the facts and details of your case are no longer a private matter. If you decide to settle out of court, your matter will be more likely to stay private. 

Finality

When your compensation is awarded by a jury or court, that judgment may be appealed by either party. This can drag out the case and make it more expensive. However, if a case settles out of court, that settlement is, in most cases, not appealable and is an end to your case.

DISADVANTAGES OF COURT SETTLEMENTS FACTORS:

Out-of-Court Settlement Disadvantages

While the costs of going to court may outweigh the benefits, some clients choose to go to court. These clients may want to preserve their ability to appeal or have the public know about their case.

Satisfaction

If you decide to settle out of court, the settlement amount may be lower than what you think you deserve. As a result, you may feel unsatisfied with the result.

Waiver

As mentioned above, when you settle out of court, you create an absolute end to your case. When you do this, you waive your right to take further legal action, as an appeal. 

Purpose

While every case is different, some cases involve facts that the public should know about. You should consider the facts of your case and your intent in filing the case when deciding whether to settle out of court.

Should You File an Injury Case?

If you are deciding whether to file an injury case, it’s best to discuss your situation with an injury lawyer. At Pritchard Injury Firm, we have our clients’ best interests in mind when advising on settlements or trials.

We have years of experience with both trials and out-of-court settlements. Our staff will work with you to achieve the result that you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Author Photo

Zach Pritchard

Zach Pritchard received his undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State University where he received a degree in Management. Mr. Pritchard continued his educational career and attended John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia where he received his law degree.

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