If you were injured in a
car wreck, on someone else’s
property, or because of
medical malpractice or a
dangerous drug, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit, but be hesitant because
you don’t feel like you have the energy or patience to endure a
lengthy court battle.
We get it, personal injury lawsuits can be stressful but fortunately, they
don’t have to be. If your financial losses (e.g. medical bills,
property damage to a vehicle, and lost income) are in the thousands and
continuing to accrue, you would be better off if you file a lawsuit against
the at-fault party, but don’t let fear of a court battle stop you.
Believe it or not, upwards of 90% of all
personal injury lawsuits settle outside of court and there are good reasons for this.
In fact, there are advantages to settling for both the plaintiff (the
injured party) and the defendant (the legally liable party) and we’ll
explain some of them here.
Advantages of Settling Out of Court
For starters, defendants generally pay their attorneys by the hour; they
do this out of pocket. Defendants have to pay legal fees and court costs,
and they have to pay for lengthy depositions, accident reconstruction
experts, and expert witnesses. All of these costs add up.
Going to court means significant out-of-pocket costs for the defendant.
Settling on the other hand, is more cost-effective, plus the defendant
doesn’t have to worry about an unpredictable jury.
While plaintiffs often enter a contingency fee arrangement with their personal
injury attorney where they don’t pay unless they win, they still
benefit from settling, especially because settling drives down the legal costs.
When a plaintiff wins or settles a case, the legal fees and all associated
costs are deducted from the plaintiff’s settlement or jury award.
When the costs of a case are minimized, the plaintiff gets to keep more money.
It’s a similar concept with divorce cases. When a couple can have
a collaborative divorce that stays out of court, more of the marital estate
is preserved. Meaning, the spouses get to keep more money because their
cash reserves aren’t siphoned by a protracted court battle.
Advantages of settling out of court:
- The plaintiff isn’t at the whim of an unpredictable jury
- Legal costs are kept at a minimum
- The plaintiff receives their settlement faster
- It’s much less stressful than a trial
Most personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom, but that
does not mean there isn’t a time and a place to take a case to trial.
Sometimes, it is in the best interests of a plaintiff to take a case to
court, but this usually occurs when an insurance company denies a valid
claim or refuses to agree to a fair settlement.
Injured in an accident in Columbia or anywhere else in Richland and Lexington
counties? If so, don’t hesitate to
contact the Law Office of James. R. Snell, Jr., LLC for a free case evaluation!