Approximately 90 percent of personal injury cases settle out of court. There are many advantages to avoiding a trial and settling the case if a “reasonable” offer is made. A qualified attorney can help you evaluate whether a settlement offer is in fact reasonable. At Springer & Lyle, we will provide information which will help you make an informed decision. Some reasons not to go to trial include the following:
Going to Trial is Expensive
Almost all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means their legal fees are a percentage of any amount you are awarded, whether in a settlement or after a trial.
The contingency percentage fee is lower if the case can be settled without litigating it. It may be as much as 10 percent more for filing a suit and developing the case for trial.
Additionally, the costs for preparing for trial are much greater. Costs include: costs of depositions (court reporters and videographers), costs of preparing trial exhibits for all parties and the court, paying for expert witnesses, court costs, time lost from work to attend the trial, and more.
If an insurance company is paying the defense attorney, you will not incur those out-of-pocket costs, but settlement may still be in your best interest. An insurance company should make a good faith effort to settle the case.
Going to Trial is Stressful
The stress of going to trial can take a toll on your emotions. There are no guarantees of the final outcome. You will likely be required to testify and then be subjected to cross-examination by the opposing attorney.
The Outcome of the Trial is Unpredictable
No matter how prepared your attorney is, the outcome of the trial is unpredictable. First, your attorney has to prove the defendant was negligent and liable for your damages. Then, the jury has to determine how much money you are entitled to for your elements of damage. Ten different juries may award 10 different amounts.
The end of the trial may not be the end of the case since either party can appeal the result. The appeals process can add a lot of extra time.
Settlement Conferences are Private
No matter how untrue anything said at trial is, trials are public. Anyone can attend. A settlement conference is private and many settlements that are reached remain confidential, unavailable for discovery by the public.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.