Reasons For Settling A Case Out of Court

The process of taking part in litigation tends to demand an expenditure of time and effort. Yet those are not the only reasons why a claimant might elect to settle a dispute outside of the courtroom.

Having a case go to trial is expensive.

Choosing to fight a defendant in a courtroom can force the plaintiff to spend a good deal of money. The lawyer’s contingency fee increases, once the client’s case moves on to the stage of litigation. In addition, the lawyer’s fee is not the plaintiff’s only expense. Plaintiffs in court cases must pay for expert witnesses, as well as covering the court costs. At the same time, a plaintiff could get forced to use the vacation days that had been earned at his or her place of business, as per personal injury lawyer in Cambridge.

Trials introduce stress

During the legal proceedings, a witness’ past could get exposed to the public. Even if that does not come to pass, all those involved need to complete some challenging tasks, just to prepare for the time in court. Settling does not create stress. Those that are taking part in the settlement simply sign an agreement.

The amount of money awarded to the plaintiff cannot be predicted.

• The judge might decide to exclude a piece of evidence.
• Some witness could give inconsistent testimony.
• The jury decides on the size of the plaintiff’s award.

Time passes, as a plaintiff must wait for the date of a trial.

Trials usually get scheduled for a date that is a year or more past the time when the lawsuit was filed. The disputing parties that are engaged in negotiations can choose the time when both feel ready to sign the settlement papers.

No confidentiality

All of the facts disclosed by any witness get placed in a public record. Later, any member of the public would have the right to view that same record. Hence, those that have agreed to take part in litigation proceedings lose their right to confidentiality.

The issue of liability

Consider what happens at a trial’s conclusion, if the plaintiff has won. In that case, the defendant would have to admit liability. That would be another fact that would get placed in the public record.

The benefit linked to using a trial to settle a dispute

If either party questions the jury’s decision, that same party has the right to seek an appeal. After a settlement, neither party can appeal the terms of the agreement. That is why lawyers urge their clients to delay settling until they have reached the point of maximum medical improvement. An insurance company could push a claimant to settle. In that way, the claimant’s ability to seek compensation for any complications would vanish.