Suffering from an injury or an illness is worrisome. Paying the medical bills and then suffering the pain and trauma of your affliction is another one of your worries. When you have to suffer due to someone else’s carelessness, it is your right to file a lawsuit against the party to compensate you for damages.- PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
Personal injury lawsuits aim to settle legal disputes between you, as the injured party and the individual legally responsible for harming you. However, how to recover damages is tricky: should you go through a trial, or should you accept an out-of-court settlement?
Going to trial means you’re going to take your case to court and defend your stance in front of a judge and jury. A lawyer representing you will make opening remarks, and the same will go for the defending party. There will be cross-examination, and critical analysis of presented evidence before the judge and jury give a ruling.
However, an out-of-court settlement is between both parties with no mediation, except your lawyers. All the cards are on the table, and legal representatives of both parties argue it out amongst themselves before coming to an agreement. Both parties agree upon the financial compensation deemed sufficient. This settlement agreement becomes compensation for the damages incurred by the defending party.
Now that all of this is out of the bag, what should you go for when legally wronged?
Settlements- PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
If we look at it, settlements are a speedier form of reaching justice. It saves time and money, and both parties can walk away with some favorable terms. Many legal offices provide specialized services in settlement mediations, such as a mesothelioma settlement, to help people afflicted with mesothelioma get compensation for personal injury or wrongful death. Usually, employers are guilty of gross negligence in ensuring the safety of their employees. A number of them established trust funds to deal with mesothelioma lawsuits, and victims can get financial compensation by bargaining for a settlement. The same is the case for medical malpractice lawsuits, where the guilty party would prefer to settle out of court rather than risk losing their reputation in a public trial.
Legal systems in many states encourage this practice by requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s legal fees if the plaintiff walks away with less compensation through a trial than proposed in a settlement. When it comes to settlements, you are in the bargaining seat. You can reject or accept whatever is on offer. Furthermore, you also control what information remains private and what goes public, assuming that it’s a high-profile case.
However, choosing a settlement over a trial must be a carefully considered decision. It would be best if you decided in careful consultation with your legal team as it could also put you at a great disadvantage. Settlement is essentially bargaining what compensation you should receive for the damages inflicted on you, and you could potentially settle for something less than what you deserve. Once the deal is done, you cannot renegotiate the terms, which puts you at a loss.
Trial- PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT
Going to trial means going to court and having an impartial third party, i.e., judges and jury, hearing the case’s facts and reaching a verdict. Personal injury lawsuits featuring automobile accidents, construction accidents, faulty products, character defamation, and assault can be handled through a trial if the guilty party refuses to pay for damages. Going to trial means sitting through the court’s limited time to represent your case. With that huge limitation, a trial could go on for weeks, maybe even years. This time limit means that you’ll be spending more on legal fees, probably more than the financial compensation you would recover. You lose time, productive time at work, travel time, and expenses, not to mention you have to gather special witnesses to defend your case. Pre-trial homework is also a lot of work, meaning more lawyer fees.
Going to trial is also a stressful endeavor, with everyone, including the defendant doing their due diligence before going to court. Everyone has to prepare statements and make sure that they don’t contradict the case. Furthermore, the results of trials are highly unpredictable. The judge could either offer you much more than what you were about to get had you settled, or the decision could completely go the other party’s way.
There is still a chance of receiving more than what you would’ve received had you settled. A trial is a more public statement when it comes to an injustice done, and with a successful trial, you might inspire others to stand for any wrong done to them. A trial also finds someone guilty or innocent of wrongdoing, which doesn’t happen in a settlement.
What to choose?
From the way the article has presented the pros and cons, it seems that it leans more towards settlement than trials, which is true. When deciding what to do, please seek professional legal advice. With settlement negotiations on the table, calculate the damages incurred by you fairly. If you have injuries, calculate the cost of your treatment, the damages to your property (in case of motor vehicle accidents), the cost of traveling for your treatment, and most importantly, quantify the emotional damage to your life.
If the proposed settlement agreement meets your calculated losses, then it is advised that you go with the settlement. However, if the defending party insists on settling for less, a trial is your best option.
Any damages to your person or property are always regrettable, especially when incurred through no fault of your own. It is your right to file a lawsuit to receive reparations for the damages. However, consult your legal team when choosing which option you should accept the justice you deserve. With all the proper documents, they’ll be able to calculate the correct settlement that you deserve and advise you on your next move. Both methods aim to obtain justice, and with a proper feasibility study, you can decide which to go for: a trial or settlement.