Benefits of Settling a Florida Personal Injury Case
If you’ve been hurt in an accident and want to seek compensation for your losses, you might be expecting a drawn-out, expensive legal battle and hours in a courtroom. While this may be true in some cases, many personal injury claims are actually resolved long before trial – at times, even before filing a lawsuit in court. Some surveys have found that anywhere from 92 – 96 percent of all personal injury cases settle out of court, though the exact figures are difficult to estimate.
While the vast majority of claims settle before trial, you can assume that there are multiple advantages to resolving your case through this route. Though a Florida personal injury attorney can explain in more detail, it’s important to understand some of the benefits that may apply to your claim.
Quick Resolution: There may be some time investment as you negotiate a settlement on your claim, but these discussions generally take just a couple of weeks. Negotiations may last a few months if there are complex issues regarding fault and the nature of your injuries. By contrast, litigation will likely take one year at minimum – and will probably be even longer due to busy court dockets.
Lower Legal Fees: Because settlement is less time-intensive, your legal fees and related costs will be greatly reduced. Your attorney likely charges a contingency fee, where you don’t pay unless you recover compensation. Some lawyers will use a higher percentage when calculating your fees for a trial as compared to settlement negotiations. Regardless, your costs (expert fees, transcripts, etc.) will be lower because you’re able to resolve the claim in less time.
Eliminate the Risk: You may think your personal injury case is a slam dunk, but there are many potential weaknesses that could affect your rights if they come out at trial. A jury may award less than what you expect as compensation – and it’s even possible that you’ll lose your case. When you settle in advance, there’s less uncertainty and you remain in control over the negotiation process.
Less Stress: Trials are commonplace for attorneys, but they can be a source of stress for an injured victim. Obviously, you’ll be called to testify, which may not induce anxiety when your own lawyer is doing the questioning. However, you may be subject to cross-examination by the defense lawyer, which can be quite difficult for plaintiffs.
Protect Your Privacy: When you file a lawsuit for personal injuries, every document you submit to the court becomes part of the permanent, public record. Your billing statements, medical records, information regarding your income, and many other details may available to anyone who seeks them. Settlement negotiations, on the other hand, are private and confidential. By entering into a settlement before litigation, you shield yourself from exposing your personal life to the public.
Talk to a Florida Personal Injury Attorney About Settlement
While there are multiple benefits for settling a case before trial, it’s still essential to make sure you agree to an amount that’s fair and reasonable under the circumstances. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can assist with the negotiations process, but will also take the necessary next steps to protect your rights. To learn more about settlement, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL.