It’s fun to imagine a dramatic courtroom and a judge or jury handling your car accident claim, but the reality is that most car accident injury claims are settled without a lawsuit ever being filed — and the ones that are filed don’t usually make it all the way to trial.
Sometimes, it’s necessary and better for the injury victim to go to court and let a judge or jury hear your case. Other times, it’s more practical to pursue a settlement. Each case is different, and there are many factors at play.
What are the advantages to settling your car accident injury claim?
Here are a few pros of settling your claim before filing a lawsuit:
- You get paid faster.
- Your attorney costs could be lower — Litigating personal injury cases through the court system is a very costly undertaking. This could affect your settlement amount in the end.
- You don’t take the chance of a jury or judge not ruling in your favor — i.e. you don’t end up with a settlement amount of 0 dollars.
- You avoid the headaches of dealing with court hearings, depositions and other elements of a trial — Taking a case all the way to trial is a very long process. We’re talking months, if not years, in some cases. In the meantime, attorneys for the defense will likely do things that will try to “wear you down,” like looking into your personal life and threatening to disclose details in court that you don’t want shared into a public record.
- You don’t have to deal with the appeals process post-trial — Even if a judge or jury rules in your favor and awards you the amount of money you deserve, the defense can — and often will — file appeals and post-trial motions that could seriously delay you getting your check.
What are the advantages to going to court?
Although most cases settle before court, there are a few advantages to taking your case all the way. These include:
- You might get more money — If you take your case to a judge or jury and prevail, you might be rewarded with a much higher amount of money than the insurance company would have settled for.
- You have a better chance of recouping all of your out-of-pocket costs – If a judge or jury rules in your favor, all those little expenses that you did not foresee coming after your accident could be repaid to you.
Ultimately, you should always consult with your attorney before deciding whether to settle or file a lawsuit. He or she is the best person to help you make that decision.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.