When you are injured and you believe another person is at fault, it is only natural to assume that a jury in your community will find the other person guilty and award you a significant verdict in your favor. However, the reality is that this frequently is not how the story plays out.
In fact, there are an increasing number of cases that are settled through the settlement process.
The settlement process is a way for people to solve a dispute outside the courtroom and come to a resolution that is agreeable to all parties. In the case of a personal injury, such a settlement usually involves the payment of monetary amounts by the at-fault party to the injured party. However, any settlement will be for an amount less than the full value of your claim.
Why then, would anyone want to settle a claim if it is for less than the full value?
Settlement is such a common practice today for several reasons. First, it saves you time. The litigation process is long and drawn out. It can often take several years before you get your day in court. For many reasons, this might not be in your best interest. Second, settlement provides a guaranteed outcome. The litigation or trial process is, by nature, very risky. It may be that your claim is just, but through some technical or procedural loop hole, a judge may decide that your cause is unwarranted or unjustified. This may have nothing to do with the actual merits of your case. In addition, we rely on juries of human beings to make a final decision in regards to our cases. No attorney can predict with 100% certainty how a jury will respond when they hear your story. No case, no matter how solid, is a sure bet in a courtroom. Settlement offers the only mechanism to guarantee you a set recovery.
Because it is the fastest, most secure path to get the funds you need to deal with your injury and treatment, settlement does come at a cost. It is an undeniable truth that the amount of a settlement will usually be less than the full value of your case. However, the benefit must be weighed against those costs, and it is often the case that settlement now is a better outcome than an uncertain, though potentially larger, recovery in the future. These are issues which you should speak with your attorney about. Discuss your ideas and questions at length in order to determine whether settlement is appropriate, given the goals and circumstances of your case. To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys, call (217) 394-5885 today.