It is a fact that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom. Continue reading to learn the various benefits of settling out of court, and what you can do to ensure you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve for your damages and losses.
Out-of-Court Personal Injury Settlements
For most personal injury claims, litigation is resolved well before the case can go to trial, let alone turn into a lawsuit. There are many good reasons why. The top advantage of settling a personal injury claim outside of court is the time and money saved. Although many accident law firms work on contingency, meaning they do not collect lawyer fees unless they recover a settlement for their client, a long, on-going case can add up in other types of pre-litigation expenses, such as filing fees, legal research fees, expert witness and testimony fees, and more. See our blogs, “What are Contingency Fees?” and “The Costs of a Personal Injury Lawsuit” to learn more about associated costs and fees in a personal injury case.
As for defendants in a personal injury case, there is no contingency-fee basis. In a personal injury case, nearly every defendant has insurance which will pay for any judgment against them. Their insurance carriers hire a lawyer who gets paid by the hour. And on top of lawyer fees, defendants’ insurance companies are also obligated to pay court costs, filing fees, and more. Defendant’s insurance companies also pay expert witnesses if need be. By avoiding court, a defendant’s insurance company can benefit greatly in terms of overall out-of-pocket costs.
Additional Benefits of Settling Outside of Court:
☑ It Eases Stress
Trial can be stressful for a person and their loved ones. The plaintiff can be subjected to invasive examination and cross-examinations, and even have their character called into question on a public platform. Being prepared by your attorney for this is vital to lowering that stress.
☑ It Allows for More Control
Although today’s legal system is set up in a way that takes most surprises out of the trial process, they can still pose a long list of potential unexpected occurrences that influence the final outcome of a settlement. For instance, key evidence may be excluded from trial by the judge, new testimony can come out on the witness stand, key witnesses may sound unreliable or more reliable, and more.
Aside from all these potential unpredictable possibilities, the amount of compensation recovered is up to the jury. This means a plaintiff can be awarded much more or much less than expected. Out of court, the plaintiff party and the defendant’s insurance company have control over the negotiation of recompense. It is the defendant’s insurance company that decides if an offer will be made and not the actual negligent party themselves.
☑ It Avoids Timely Appeals
The appeals process in a personal injury lawsuit can take several months, or even years. In fact, once a lawsuit it filed, it will not likely see trial for at least 12 months. This puts a massive delay on a victim’s full and fair compensation, causing them to continue paying out of pocket for all of their losses and damages, such as medical expenses and hospital bills if they do not have health insurance coverage, lost wages from time off work, and more. Even the most basic and obvious personal injury cases can get stuck in this deferred legal timeline because a defendant’s insurance carrier refuses to make a fair offer on the case of an injured plaintiff.
☑ It Protects a Victim’s Privacy
If a personal injury case is settled out of court, everything except actual court filings are kept entirely private between the two parties. However, cases that go to trial in a court room are open to the public, recorded in public records and occur in front of six jurors in Indiana. It is possible for a judge to order a case to be sealed, but it does not happen often.
Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers That Will Fight For Your Rights
Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 if you need an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are ready and able to recover the full and fair amount of compensation you deserve after being seriously injured by another’s negligence. Recover for damages and losses, including medical expenses, hospital bills, pain, suffering, lost wages, and more should occur if the damages were caused by another person’s negligence. We represent injured persons throughout the State of Indiana. Get started with a free consultation, today.