Should you try to negotiate a settlement before pursuing a lawsuit?
After suffering a serious injury, you might benefit from discussing your case with a skilled Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. You may be wondering if you should sue the person responsible for your injury or if you should accept a negotiated settlement. There are many important things to consider when making that decision. Though a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer is better qualified to advise you after reviewing your case, the following general information may be helpful.
What is a settlement?
A settlement is a legal resolution to a dispute as opposed to a jury or judge-ordered ruling. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles working on your behalf may negotiate a settlement with the at-fault insurance company. A settlement can be negotiated even in the midst of a civil lawsuit.
The Benefits of Negotiating a Settlement
Ultimately, your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer may advise you on whether or not a settlement is in your best interest. However, there are several reasons why many plaintiffs choose to settle rather than take the case to court. Here are the most common reasons:
1. Cost. A courtroom trial can take several months or more to resolve, depending on the circumstances of the case. In addition to lawyers’ fees, ancillary costs can add to the financial burden. This can include court filing fees and other costs. Simply paying for the costs of flying in expert witnesses, their lodging, and meals can be very expensive. Despite how much it may cost to go to trial, there is no guarantee that you will win. And even if you win, you may not receive an award that is substantially higher than what you would get in a settlement.
2. Emotional duress. A settlement negotiation is usually a much faster process than a trial. This can bring your personal injury case to a speedier conclusion which may help you to put the accident behind you sooner. In addition, if your case goes to trial you will more than likely have to testify in front of many people under stress including:
- A courtroom of spectators
- The jury
- The judge
- Your own attorney
- The defense attorney
- The defendant
3. Invasion of privacy. Chances are that if a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer negotiates a settlement on your behalf in lieu of going to trial, you have a better chance of preserving your privacy. Once a case is tried in the courtroom it becomes a matter of public record. In rare instances a judge may order the records sealed, but otherwise they are available for anyone to read. A settlement agreement can include a confidentiality clause, thus giving your a reasonable expectation that the details of the resolution will be kept private
We Offer a No-Cost Case Review
Every personal injury case is different. Only a licensed attorney is qualified to offer legal advice. Our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to anyone who was seriously hurt through no fault of their own. If you would like to discuss your case with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, contact us today.