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Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim Out of Court?

Houston, TX Personal Injury Lawyer

When you're seeking monetary compensation for a personal injury, the other party may try to settle with you to avoid having to go to trial. Sometimes the offered settlement amount is enough.  But what if it isn't? Should you take the settlement offer or take the case to trial?  Deciding what to do can be tricky. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you make the right decisions. Your lawyer will explain the pros and cons of both options.

Reasons to Settle Out of Court

A legal dispute involving injuries often settle out of court. There are many benefits for both parties to settle out of court, including:

  • Guaranteed compensation. Settling your case before trial let's you know exactly the amount of money you'll receive. You don't have to rely on a jury to side with you and give you the money you want. The terms of a settlement will be written out with all the terms. An experienced personal injury attorney can look over this paperwork before you sign to make sure your interests are protected.
  • Saves time. Personal injury lawsuits can drag out for long periods of time. Your personal injury case is one of thousands of cases filed each year. The courts simply do not have the resources to hear civil trials immediately. Also, the court rules are designed to give each side time to adequately prepare for trial. Scheduling conflicts, witness unavailability, and other unexpected events can occur to further delay a personal injury trial. If you decide to take your case to trial, you delay receiving compensation. Sometimes even if you win, appeals prevent you from receiving your money right away. In contrast, when you settle, you receive the agreed upon payment from the other party much sooner.
  • Maintain your privacy. When you take a case to trial, details of the case become public record. Anyone can request to see these documents. Details of cases settled out of court typically remain private between the parties and their lawyers. Some settlements even contain confidentiality agreements to protect the case from being discussed with anyone else.
  • Avoid appeals. Out of court settlements are final. Once you agree to a settlement and sign the settlement agreement, the case is over. If you take the case to trial, even if you win, the other party can appeal the case to higher courts. These appeals can take years and potentially decrease the amount of money you receive. An appeal may even overturn the result entirely.
  • Avoids stress. Taking a case to trial can be stressful. People may worry about being put on the witness stand to describe the details of the case and face cross-examination. Often settling out of court eliminates these worries.

Reasons to Consider Going to Trial

Every case is different and unique.  As such, there may be some circumstances that going to trial is a better option:

  • Settlement negotiations break down. Parties involved in a personal injury claim rarely agree to the first settlement offer. Instead, they negotiate until they reach an agreement approved by both sides. Sometimes these negotiations fail to produce an acceptable settlement. If you feel the other party isn't negotiating fairly or compromising enough, taking your case to trial may give you a better chance for a fair and full financial recovery.
  • Maximizing your damages. During settlement negotiations, the other party may give you multiple settlement offers that don't match what you think is fair. If this happens, you can choose to take the case to trial, hoping a jury will agree with your position and force them to pay a higher amount. Be careful using this tactic. Going to court removes your guarantee for receiving some compensation. It's possible the other party could win the case, leaving you with nothing or causing you to spend time and money appealing the verdict. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether settling or taking your case to trial is the best option for you.

Protect Your Rights! Hire Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers to Help You.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, contact Hernandez Sunosky, LLP at 713.981.4100 for a 100% free, no obligation consultation with our Houston TX Personal Injury Lawyers.  We work only on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront fees for our services. You only have to pay us if we recover money for you.

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The top-rated lawyers at Hernandez Sunosky, LLP will fight for you after an accident. We use our 40+ years of experience to maximize your financial compensation. Call for a FREE case evaluation. We don't get paid unless you get paid. Se Habla Espanol

Hernandez Sunosky, LLP
2929 Allen Parkway, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77019
713-981-4133 (fax)