When you have been injured in an accident, you may have high emotions about the one who caused the accident. Most personal injury claims are resolved by either settlement or litigation. Initially, you may be convinced that you want to take the issue to trial. It’s important to consider all of your options for securing the compensation that you need to recover fully. It is also critical to consider the specific facts of your situation when determining the action you want to take for recovering damages. This makes working with a personal injury attorney like Hank Doyle crucial, even if you are open to settling the case. We are seasoned with experience that enables us to advise you in the best possible option for your specific situation.
Settling out of court, before the case goes to trial, is the most common for personal injury cases. Here are 5 benefits of settling a personal injury claim for you to consider.
The settlement process goes much quicker than a trial. This is largely due to the preparation time involved in building a case for a jury or judge and scheduling for court. Many times in a court trial witnesses are involved so there is time taken in meeting and interviewing them prior to trial. Your attorney has to repeat this process for every piece of evidence. Preparing for a settlement outside of court is not as intense, though there is still important preparation that occurs. When you settle a claim, and sign the settlement agreement, it is concluded. The paperwork is filed with the court and the compensation is disbursed.
When you go to trial, there is more time involved, adding up to higher legal expenses. If you have witnesses, you pay for their time and travel. Expert witnesses often charge hundreds of dollars an hour. If you settle, you avoid many of these costs. If you decide to settle your personal injury case it’s important to have a specific settlement amount in mind prior to speaking with the insurance adjuster. An attorney can help guide you through this process and make sure every aspect of your case is considered.
Going into a courtroom trial produces anxiety. Even though most personal injury trials don’t last more than a few days, the whole process can be extremely stressful for all who are involved. Both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, can be put on the witness stand for examination and cross-examination. Their past and character can be scrutinized. The time required for preparation can be grueling leading up to the trial. The fact that a jury is very unpredictable adds to the stress. However, with a settlement, an agreement is negotiated and compensation is paid, which ends the matter.
While the details of a court trial are public record, unless the judge orders the records sealed (which is rare), a settlement outside of court gives the parties complete control of what is private and what remains public. This holds true for the terms of the settlement as well. Additionally, in a settlement the defendant is not required to admit liability and does not have a public record of negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
When you litigate in court, the compensation awards are subject to the jury and court to decide. Unlike litigation, settlement negotiations leave control over the compensation awards in the hands of the claimants and defendants. Both parties, with their attorneys, can argue for a higher settlement amount and show calculations for damages in a more private setting.
When you are considering settling a personal injury claim, whether it is the right option for you depends on the circumstances of the case. Our experienced attorneys at the Doyle Law Offices can help you determine whether you should settle or litigate based on your specific case. With a Wake Forest office and Cary office, we serve a wide community of clients. Call us at 919-205-9728 or complete the form below to schedule a consultation.