After a personal injury, you may be wondering if you should accept a settlement or move forward with a lawsuit. Before you make a decision, it helps to speak with an attorney who can review the specific factors of your case.
As you make your decision, it can also be helpful to look at the pros and cons of accepting personal injury settlements vs filing a lawsuit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Personal Injury Settlements
According to Nottingham’s top injury team, the vast majority of personal injury cases end with a settlement. When the at-fault party offers an appropriate amount to compensate you for your damages, a settlement may be the best option.
Preparing for a trial is a time-consuming and expensive process. It can cost more than settling the case, and when the at-fault party provides a suitable settlement, it’s a win-win. Settlements remain private. If you take it to trial, your case will be a matter of public record. Additionally, it’s far less stressful to take the settlement if the amount is sufficient as going through with a lawsuit could take years to complete if your case is complicated.
On the other hand, if you are offered a settlement that is far too low and your lawyer can’t get the at-fault party to budge through negotiations, you may be better off with a lawsuit. Settling also means that the other party is essentially throwing money at the problem rather than being held accountable for their negligent actions.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to Court with Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your claim is denied or you are offered a low settlement amount, you may want to file a lawsuit. While it is a more expensive route, it will likely be worth the additional cost and effort to ensure you get what you deserve.
Your attorney will let you know what they think about your case going to trial and whether or not the risks in your circumstances make it a smart move. Going to court gives you the potential to receive a higher payout than what you’d negotiate in a settlement.
In some cases, it may be right to go to trial to set a legal precedent that can be used to protect others from similar circumstances in the future. This is the good side of having court cases be a part of the public record. Since it’s public, this will also hold the at-fault party liable for their negligent actions.
On the downside, if your lawsuit goes to trial, you may wind up with a lower payout or none at all. That’s a risk everyone takes when going this route as the jury may decide against you. Maryland uses a model of contributory negligence, meaning that if the jury finds you to be even 1% at fault for your injuries, you’d be barred from collecting damages. Court trials also take longer than settlements, which will mean more legal fees and additional stress all while being in the public eye.
Should You Take the Settlement or Go to Trial?
After looking at the pros and cons of settlements and lawsuits, you should discuss the factors of your case with a personal injury attorney. Every situation is different, and they will know how to create a strong strategy for you whether you want to settle or see your lawsuit all the way through the courts.
The advice you get from your attorney is the most valuable input you’ll receive. They will be advocating for your legal rights and looking out for your best interests through it all.