When you have a car accident case, you often have the option of going to trial or settling out of court. Whether you decide to go to trial or settle, getting an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer to guide you through the process is important. Notably, many personal injury cases do not make it to trial, with the parties involved often choosing to settle out of court. This article looks at whether you should settle your car accident case before trial.
What Is a Settlement?
A settlement refers to the resolution of a lawsuit without going forward to trial. Typically, settlements take the form of negotiations between the lawyers of both parties and often the insurance company. First, the plaintiff’s lawyer presents a demand letter containing damages sought and information supporting these demands.
After this has been done, the defendant’s lawyer often responds with a counteroffer. Depending on how the plaintiff feels about the counteroffer, negotiations could either begin or be called off. The goal of the negotiations is to arrive at an arrangement that satisfies both parties. Once an agreement is arrived at, both parties sign it, and that ends the case.
A settlement case could take anything from a few weeks to a few months. On the other hand, going to trial could take a few months or years before the court judgment. Often, people are worried about going to trial because of how long it could take and how much it could cost in attorney fees. Hence, they prefer to settle.
What Are the Benefits of Settling?
Choosing to settle an Atlanta car accident instead of going to trial is an option you should consider. This section will examine the benefits of settling your case and some of the disadvantages that come with it. Below are some of the benefits of settling.
One of the benefits of settling cases out of court is the reduced expenses. When you have a case, you pay attorney fees and make yourself available in court during hearings. However, if the case drags on for too long, these fees increase, and in some cases, they may not be worth the time spent in court.
On the other hand, settling could ensure that you conclude the case in about half the time it takes to conclude a trial. Having a good case and being able to back it up with evidence facilitates this process.
You Are in Control
Deciding to go to trial puts your fate firmly in the hands of the judge and jury. Whatever decision is made by them is often binding. However, when you decide to settle, you and your lawyer are in charge of what you get as damages. You can decide to accept or reject any settlement offers made to you. This would be impossible at trial.
Disadvantages of Settling
Having seen the advantages of settling out of court, we now look at the disadvantages of settling.
A Settlement Is Permanent
Whatever agreement you arrive at during settlements is permanent. You cannot push for more if you discover that you could have gotten more. However, you can appeal a court’s decision if future developments impact your case.
You Could Get Less Money
Choosing to settle means that there is a chance that you get less money than you would get from a trial. In settlements, the defendant’s lawyers are concerned with reducing the damages paid by their clients. Therefore, their offers would be aimed at doing just that.
However, if you had a judge or jury set your settlement offer, you could get more. Even with this, it is important to note that this is not guaranteed as a judge could decide to award lesser damages than you would have gotten in a settlement.
Get an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer to Advise You on Your Case
Deciding whether to take a case to trial or settle out of court is a huge decision to make. As a result, you must be adequately advised before committing to either course of action. You need a lawyer who is not afraid to go to court but recognizes when a trial is the better option.
At The Weinstein Firm, we are careful about serving the client’s needs and not what we believe they need. Therefore, while advising you on the best course of action, you can be sure that we would ensure your wishes are respected. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers. We do not demand upfront fees.