Personal injury suits vary. Regardless of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for damages, suffering, loss of income, and time missed at work due to an accident. Personal injury cases often occur when one party’s negligence, causes undue harm to another individual. This can result in serious injury, leaving the victim with costly medical expenses, plus physical and emotional damage.
Not all personal injury cases end up in court. If you are seriously injured in an accident, you may require the services of a licensed personal injury lawyer to negotiate a settlement amount. Settling your case out of court can be quicker, and works best if you have an experienced lawyer who has the experience and knowledge to negotiate a settlement.
What to Consider
Although it may be tempting to settle your case out of court, there are several important factors to take into consideration before accepting a settlement from the other party. Your lawyer needs to review crucial information in order to determine the strength of your case and the odds of winning a trial. Your personal injury lawyer also considers the potential amount of the award and compares it to a settlement offered.
To determine if a personal injury settlement is the best option for you, here are some pros and cons to consider:
- Guaranteed Settlement – One of the greatest advantages of settling your case is receiving a guaranteed amount for your injury without having to go to trial. If the case goes to court, most settlement offers are off the table as soon as the trial begins and you risk losing not only the settlement amount that was previously offered, but potentially owing costs if the judge rules in favor of the defendant.
- Saves Time and Stress – A settlement saves you months or years of time from appearances during and before trial. You can rest easy knowing that compensation is in place without having to deal with the stress and time of an ongoing lawsuit. Additionally, you do not have to wait for the money to pay for any medical or other out of pocket expenses.
- Protect Your Privacy – Settling out of court saves you from public exposure. Taking your case to trial will require exposing certain personal information that will come under scrutiny.
- Less Award Money – The insurance company will often offer a settlement to the accident victim if it knows that their client is at fault and that you are likely to win a larger sum by going to trial. This is where the service of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer are crucial in evaluating the value of your claim. They can give you advice on the best course of action to generate the greatest monetary result.
- No Punitive Damages – In certain cases if the court finds the defendant guilty of bad faith or gross negligence, the plaintiff may receive punitive damages, however often times these types of damages will not be reflected in an out of court settelement. You need the opinion of a personal injury lawyer to determine if you have a strong claim and may receive better judgment in court than the settlement being offered.
- No Admission of Liability – Most of the time, a settlement release will include a clause that the defendant is not admitting liabilty for the accident or incident. Some victims wish to have the defendant apologize or to have their “day in court” so that they receive a written Judgment finding the defendant at fault. When there is a settlement out of court, you will not have the opportunity for a trial and a written Judgment.
If you are unsure about a decision to settle out of court, consult a professional personal injury lawyer with experience and dedication in these cases. Call Michelle Linka Law in Richmond Hill: (416) 477-7288. Get the compensation you deserve.