If you have suffered an injury due to negligence or carelessness of another person, you can claim compensation from the at fault party. You need to seek legal counsel for determining the viability and value of your case, and for negotiating or fighting your case at a trial. Most personal injury cases do not go to trial and the settlement is sought through negotiations. This approach has quite a few benefits that are discussed here.
Per Hour is Costly
Most lawyers, who accept personal injury cases, charge contingency fees, which will be a percentage of the settlement amount. However, the percentage for pretrial settlement is lower than the percentage charged, once the trial starts. The defendant on the other hand will have to hire a lawyer on an hourly rate, which can be extremely costly in the end. $400 per hour, for instance, adds up quickly.
However, attorney fees are not the only costs in a personal injury case. There will be court fees, documentation charges, cost of preparing props, and cost of retaining expert witnesses. When you consider all these costs, out of court settlement is a much cheaper alternative, especially when the case can drag on for a long time.
This is why you your attorney who accepts the case can only be eligible for a payment after you are paid. In other words, they only win if you win. If you lose the case then they know since you are not being paid anything, how can they collect from you when they know you are already in the hole? They know from the beginning that they have to win the case to receive any type of financial payoff.
A Jury’s Decision is Unpredictable
It is almost impossible to predict if the jury will settle in your favor, and what the amount of compensation they are likely to grant will be. For a plaintiff, the jury might dismiss the case altogether and not award anything or award a very small amount. For the defendant, the jury could award a huge settlement, depending on the skill of the plaintiff’s lawyer and strength of evidence. Hence, a jury decision can go both ways, and can be quite unpredictable for both parties.
This is why both sides prefer a settlement to avoid this gamble.
Court Procedure is More Stressful
Once the case goes to trial, the defendant and the plaintiff will have to undergo examination and cross examination, face character defamation and many other unpleasant things, which make the procedure stressful and worrisome. On the other hand, negotiations are held in a relatively calmer way where there is less stress and animosity in the air.