Legal cases can be resolved in many different ways. Sometimes the resolution involves litigating the matter from when the suit is first filed all the way through a verdict or bench trial. But in other cases, the parties litigate for some time and decide to resolve the issue. Brad says, “Settlements can occur very quickly after the lawsuit is initially filed if the parties involved can find a workable solution. As with most things, these settlements can have their advantages and disadvantages.” Talking with your attorney to understand both the disadvantages and benefits of a settlement before pursuing one path of or another is always the best bet.
So, what are some of the benefits of a settlement?
BENEFITS OF A SETTLEMENT
Taking a case to court and litigating it from beginning to end can become expensive. When you go to trial, you can incur more attorney fees because more time is spent gathering evidence, preparing motions and responses, and conducting discovery. On top of that, you need to consider the time that you may miss from work, travel expenses, and other associated costs. Choosing to settle the matter out of court can reduce those costs.
Trials are public affairs. Brad says, “Court documents are public records, and testimony about very private matters can be upsetting. Choosing an out-of-court settlement allows you to keep the details of your case private.”
Going to court often brings a significant amount of stress and anxiety. Court battles can often be lengthy, unpleasant, and costly. All of these things will add additional stress to a time in your life that is already stressful.
An Expected Outcome
When you go to trial, the outcome is often unpredictable. While you may present your case in the best light possible and feel that the evidence proves your case, you can never totally know how a court will rule on your case. Brad says, “Every judge is different, as is every jury member. Because of that, there is always room for interpretation.” As a result, the outcome of your case may not be exactly what you were hoping it would be. Choosing an out-of-court settlement means you know what you are agreeing to ahead of time.
WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T SETTLE
While there are benefits to settling out of court, there may be some disadvantages that are worth considering as well. These include:
Sometimes cases are filed for personal reasons and can serve as a way of making the client feel whole after a devastating occurrence. Other lawsuits are filed for a greater good, such as constitutional law and civil rights cases. These are examples where bringing awareness to a certain issue or to a particular injustice may affect not only this one plaintiff, but many other people as well. Settling out of court is not the best method of resolution in these cases because the parties involved want to have the issue made public.
A Lack of Confidence
There are some cases where one party may feel intimidated, manipulated, or otherwise coerced by the opposing side to accept a settlement that is far less than what they desire or deserve. Going to trial puts the parties involved in a more formal setting to resolve their issues.
Any method of resolving a lawsuit will have its advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to your particular case and your unique circumstances, consulting with an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced and who can advise you as to the best course of action in your case is always a wise decision.
At Parker Law Firm, we prepare every case that comes into our office for trial. While most cases do end up in a settlement, we feel that it is best to always prepare for trial so we can get all of the facts and information we need ahead of time to make sure we are settling for the appropriate amount of money for our client.
If you have any questions about the legal process or how the case process works at Parker Law Firm, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (817) 440-3888.