To Sue or To Settle

by Terry Bryant

Court Gavel

When most people hire a lawyer to handle their personal injury case, it is a common misconception that the lawyer will immediately file a lawsuit to take the client’s case to court. Filing a lawsuit is sometimes an unavoidable reality, but there are many benefits to attempting to settle a case out of court.

  • Saving the Client Money—Filing a lawsuit means more case expenses. The costs of filing fees, expert witnesses, and court reporters all add up quickly. This means more money coming out of the client’s final settlement to cover case expenses. Many expenses can be avoided or lessened by settling the case out of court.
  • Saving the Client Time—A lawsuit takes on a life of it’s own once filed with the court. Although there are rules in place to move the lawsuit along, this type of adversarial proceeding can take years, then additional time is often required to actually collect the judgment, if the defendant even has assets sufficient to cover the judgment.
  • Saving the Client Inconvenience—When a client has to hire a lawyer to handle a personal injury case, the client has already suffered a great inconvenience from being involved in an auto accident. There is time associated with handling a property damage claim, seeing the doctor, and missing work. Filing a lawsuit means more time spent resolving the case by providing necessary information to your attorney, giving your deposition, and attending trial.

All of these factors are important reasons why you should hire an experienced lawyer, who is prepared to counsel you on the potential benefits of settling your case out of court versus filing a lawsuit. Not every case is meant to be settled out of court, but if the facts are right, a client could save invaluable money and time.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact a board certified personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claim.