When people are injured in accidents, such as
slip and falls, or when they’re injured due to nursing home
medical malpractice, somebody has to pay for their losses. Often, an injured party’s
(the plaintiff) losses or “damages” include medical bills,
lost income, pain and suffering, and sometimes property damage. Of course,
they can have other damages as well.
Can you imagine if you were hurt in an auto accident and you had to stay
in the hospital for two weeks? Let’s say your medical bills were
in the ballpark of $50,000, maybe less, maybe more. Your car was totaled
and you still owe the bank $30,000 on the loan. You missed a whole month
of work, so that’s $4,000 you lost. Now, the medical bills are rolling
in and you’re past-due on the rest of your bills.
Do you take your case to trial and run the risk of losing? Or, do you accept
a settlement from the insurance company? In other words, do you wait for
months on end for a jury verdict or do you let the insurance company cut
you a check quickly? This is the predicament faced by many plaintiffs,
but believe us, insurance companies are thinking about the risks of going
to trial too.
Why Do Companies Generally Want to Settle Outside of Court?
In most cases, companies prefer to remain out of court because of the potential
legal costs and even damage that could take place to their brand through
the process of litigation. Litigation is expensive but settling a case
does not have to be.
Benefits of Settling Out of Court
Did you know that in 95% or more of personal injury cases, they are settled
out of court? Even the ones that do make it to trial often resolve through
a settlement before the jury comes back with a verdict. But why is this?
Why do the lion’s share of personal injury claims settle out of
court? Because, there are benefits to both sides including:
- Since the case is not going to trial, both sides save a fortune on legal
fees. In other words, settling drives the costs down significantly.
- The plaintiff (injured party) doesn’t have to endure a protracted
court process. Instead, they get their money a lot faster.
- Both sides maintain control over the settlement. If they were to take it
to trial, their fate would be determined by a jury and juries are notorious
for being unpredictable.
- There’s no guarantee that one side will win at court, so both sides
prefer to reduce their risk of losing by entering into a settlement.
- Through negotiations, the defendant can keep the details of the settlement
private. This way, the public won’t know how much they gave to the
While the vast majority of cases settle out of court, there is a time and
a place to take a case to trial and usually this is when the insurance
company or defendant (at-fault party) refuses to accept responsibility
for their negligence, or refuses to offer a fair settlement to the plaintiff.
So, trial is necessary in some cases.
If you need to file a car accident claim (or another injury claim) in New Jersey,
contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law today.