If a personal injury case goes to court, there's a chance the injured party will receive a larger settlement sum than what was offered in the settlement. The majority of personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, and there's a good reason for that. There are a number of benefits to settling out of court rather than seeing a case through to trial.
Advantages to Settling Your Personal Injury Claim
1) Your case remains private: From a privacy perspective, a settlement is known only to the parties involved. During a trial, all information is public. A judge could order the records to be sealed, but that rarely happens in personal injury cases. Witness testimonies, evidence, and character attacks will be available for anyone to read.
2) Settlements are quick: If you want fast money, go with a settlement because a trial can take years. Often it won't begin until more than a year after the claim is filed. When a party wins during the trial, the decision can be further appealed, prolonging the outcome. A personal injury case from initial claim to trial outcome can take three or four years. If you accept a settlement, you can quickly put the matter behind you.
3) Trials aren't cheap: Paying for a personal injury lawyer can be expensive, and the costs don't stop there. If your case goes to trial, you'll have to factor in expert witness fees, travel expenses, lost time from work, and other court costs. Payment of court fees may be required upfront, or they can be deducted from your settlement.
Related: What do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
4) Settlements aren't as stressful: A personal injury trial usually doesn't last more than a few days. However, preparation for the trial and the process as a whole can be extremely stressful for the plaintiff. On the stand, you'll be examined and cross-examined. Your character will also be questioned. A personal injury settlement can avoid all that.
5) Unpredictability isn't your friend: When you settle, you know the amount you're settling for. The same can't be said for a trial. There is no guarantee the jury will award you more than the settlement offered to you. There is no way to predict how much you will receive.
While you could receive more money in a trial, you could receive less. If you settled out of court, it would also be less expensive, public, and stressful. When you settle your personal injury claim, you can walk away with a sum, and forget it even happened.