Settling Outside of Court: The Pros and Cons
So, you spend the money (a lot of money), time and effort to go to trial. You’re looking forward to the large sum you could possibly win if the verdict goes your way. The problem is, going to trial doesn’t always mean that you’re going to win big. In fact, you could end up getting far less than what you were initially offered in out of court settlements. You could even end up with nothing even though you are out so much in costs, etc. It’s a definite risk and when you decide to go all the way to court rather than settling outside of court, you have to believe it’s worth it.
What is a Settlement?
What exactly is a settlement you might ask? When one party decides to file a lawsuit, a dispute is able to be settled by both parties coming to an agreement. It can be settled before going to court, during a trial, while a jury is deliberating your case or even after a verdict is made. It doesn’t mean that one party is admitting fault either. Note that these kinds of settlements only work this way in civil cases and not criminal cases.
In the past, insurance companies have preferred to settle many cases outside of court to avoid having to go into litigation. Times seem to be changing though. Insurance companies have been forcing many cases into court by offering unfair settlements. If a lawsuit is filed, then it is treated differently, however.
In any case, your lawyer will probably try to come to a resolution with the other party before it goes to trial as long as it is in your best interest. Sometimes, settling outside of court is not an option but AMA Law has the skills and expertise for both circumstances.
You may be wondering why settling outside of court is talked about so much. If you are in the middle of a lawsuit or know someone that is, knowing the pros and cons of coming to an agreement and settling a case before trial can be very helpful.
Advantages of Settling Out of Court
There are many advantages to settling out of court. Let’s look at a few…
Going to court has some big costs connected with it. Things like courtroom costs, expert witness payments and of course, your attorney fees. Many don’t know that their attorney’s fees are usually higher when a case goes to court than during pre-litigation too.
If you are awarded at the end of your trial however, pre-trial expenses and attorney fees are usually covered with the compensation. It does sometimes reduce the amount you will end up receiving in the end because of the high cost of prep work and case delivery by your attorney.
Remember, there is always a chance you could lose your case as well. This leaves you with all of your legal fees and possibly the other parties’ fees as well. That can add up quick!
When a settlement is offered and accepted outside of court, you are guaranteed compensation. This can be such a relief! Rather than go through the pain of a trial and take a chance of receiving nothing in the end, settling can be a welcomed choice. Choosing to take a settlement offer can get you back to your normal life again as well as get medical bills paid almost immediately. You can also start receiving treatment for things you need to restore your health
Cases that go to trial can go months if not years before even entering a courtroom. Attorney fees and other legal costs can add up during your wait as they work on your case. If you decide to settle out of court, your chances of being paid faster is much better. This saves you not only time, but possibly money in the long run.
Going through litigation can be incredibly stressful. It can be invasive and cause stress from missed work, missed time with family and more. It can also cause a lot of anxiety over the possible outcome and costs that can follow.
Settling out of court can get you back to your normal life much sooner and you don’t leave your compensation up in the air. Often, restoring your quality of life sooner than later is more beneficial than being awarded more money.
Disadvantages of Settling Out of Court
While there seems to be less disadvantages to settling out of court, there are some to consider.
- You Can’t Pursue Further Legal Action – Once you agree to a settlement out of court, you may not be able to pursue any more legal action. Even worse, the party that owes you a settlement may not even end up paying your compensation.
- You Might Not Get What You Hoped For – The amount of your settlement may be quite a bit less than one that you could be awarded in a trial. You might end up not receiving enough to cover damages you sustained. Also, when the other party that owes you the settlement money is not facing a jury or judge, they have not admitted fault and could just walk away without paying you at all.
- You Could Have an Incompetent Lawyer – There are attorneys that just want you to take a settlement so they can get paid quickly. Make sure to hire a trusted law firm like AMA Law that wants to get you what you deserve.
Does Settling Out of Court Make Sense for You?
When you have a case that you think may or may not be beneficial settling out of court, make sure that you have an experienced Oklahoma attorney at your side. AMA Law is the experienced lawyer you need to help you sort out what’s best for your unique case. Reach out to our team to learn more about our available services or to schedule a consultation today.