Lawsuits often settle out of court, especially when the parties wish to save time, money and hassle. Your attorney will be able to help you review any settlement offers and determine whether they’re adequate. Often, settlements are a smart way to avoid sinking years and tens of thousands of dollars into a case.
Settlements Usually Happen When There is Little in Dispute
Depending on the facts of your case, it might be clear to the defendant that they’ll be held liable for your injuries. When that happens, the attorneys usually want to negotiate a settlement. Settlements can happen at any time, even if the case goes to trial. Until a verdict is rendered, either party can offer to settle.
Saves Both Parties Money
Litigation is expensive. Even if your attorney operates on a contingency fee basis, the defendant’s attorney will probably have an hourly fee arrangement. That gives you both a vested interest in settling before trial, since they’re paying hourly and your contingency fee percentage often goes up when the case goes to trial.
Every time lawyers depose witnesses and file pre-trial motions, that costs time and money. If you have to use expert witnesses to support your case, they usually must be paid upfront—and even if your attorney pays those fees on your behalf, they’ll often deduct the cost from your award. The faster a case settles out of court, the more money everyone saves.
Trials Can Take Years to Go Forward
It can take a year or more for a case to actually proceed to trial. Pre-trial motions and hearings, the discovery process and juror selection all take time. Plus, the courts schedule trials based on their own availability. If there are backlogs of cases before yours, you could end up waiting a long time for trial. Meanwhile, you’ll need to find a way to pay your expenses and medical bills. Settling expedites the process and ensures you have the funds you need to survive.
Jurors Are Notoriously Unpredictable
Finally, judges and jurors can be unpredictable in terms of determining liability and awarding damages. Your best pieces of evidence might end up excluded, or the jury could decide you’re an unsympathetic victim. It can go the other way, too—which is why most lawyers will try to offer a settlement, especially when your case is strong. In some states, if you win less at trial than in the settlement offer, you may have to pay the defendant’s attorney’s fees.
Find Out if Your Case Is Likely to Settle
If you’ve been injured thanks to someone else’s negligence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation. We’ll discuss your case and whether it’s likely the defendant will settle out of court, or if you can expect to go to trial. We’ll fight hard to get the compensation you deserve.