Should You Settle Your Personal Injury Case Out-of-Court or Go To Trial?
After someone else’s negligence causes an accident that leads to you suffering an injury, you have the right to seek compensation. In Florida, there is more than one way of seeking compensation. If you are wondering how to handle your case, you should talk to a personal injury attorney who can guide you through your legal options. Keep in mind that just because a particular option works for other people, does not mean it is suitable for your case. No two personal injury cases are ever the same; therefore, each person should handle their case uniquely. A qualified attorney can help you best understand your case’s value and specifics and why a particular option is best for you.
Florida allows you to settle a personal injury case out-of-court or in court through a trial. Your attorney will advise you to opt for either for various reasons. For example, in a situation where an insurance company stubbornly refuses to pay fair compensation, even though a victim’s case is worth a substantial amount of money, an out-of-court settlement may not be the best option.
Below, we discuss these two options in more detail.
An out-of-court personal injury case settlement is a formal resolution of a personal injury claim before a jury or judge hears it.
The general process for settling a personal injury case out-of-court is outlined below.
- A plaintiff’s attorney submits a demand letter.
- The defense attorney responds to the demand letter, usually with a counter-offer.
- The two sides negotiate then reach an agreement, which is sometimes influenced by the counter-offer.
- Involved parties sign a formal settlement document which usually includes a release of liability.
Pros of out-of-court settlements include,
- The chance to resolve matters fast.
- Significantly reduced attorney fees.
- Confidentiality of settlement terms.
Cons of an out-of-court settlement include;
- Increased chances of receiving low settlements.
- The non-appealable nature of such settlements.
Solving a personal injury case through a trial involves parties presenting their arguments to a judge or jury. In a court trial, the judge or jury listens to both sides and evaluates evidence. They then decide if a plaintiff has established liability and fault and if a defendant should be held legally responsible for the plaintiff’s damages.
Some of the pros of a trial include;
- High possibilities of obtaining more compensation.
- Public admission of their wrongdoing on the side of the at-fault party.
- The possibility of a plaintiff receiving compensation for punitive damages.
Cons of a trial include;
- The possibility of a lengthy trial.
- The expensive nature of trials.
- The public nature of trials.
Legal Advice Is Available
Deciding how to tackle a personal injury case is often more challenging and complex than people think. It would be best if you sought expert advice to avoid making the wrong decision. To receive professional advice, reach out to our experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at the Pendas Law Firm. Due to our years of experience helping clients pursue the compensation they deserve, you can be sure that we will properly advise you on the best option for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Bradenton, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach areas.