It is no secret that most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Often this happens well before the case goes to trial. And in some cases, before it is even filed in court. There are a number of advantages linked to out of court settlements as compared to litigation. This article and subsequent ones will discuss some of the advantages of settling your personal injury case out of court.
Settling is not expensive but litigation is
Generally, the injured person hires an attorney at a contingency fee. The contingency fee agreement is that the attorney gets 33% for any pre-trial settlement and +/-40% once trial begins. Note that the sooner the case is settled the less expensive litigation will be.
Some attorneys will agree to paying upfront fees that are required in the case. For example, paying court fees and expert witness fees. However, these amounts will be deducted once the case has been settled or an award is given. Such expenses can be avoided if settlement is made earlier on in the case. For example, the discovery period requires a number of depositions to be made. Some individuals to be deposed are expert witnesses; who charge fees by the hour. These charges are taken from your settlement or any award given.
In cases where the defendant’s attorney is hired by an insurance company, a settlement offer is often made very early. This is basically in order to save on litigation costs. If the plaintiff accepts the offer or proposes a reasonable one, then the case likely will be settled before discovery.
A settlement is not a way of running away from the litigation process. Rather, it is the solution once the defendant notes the case has merit and wants to save on litigation costs.
For legal advice and representation in your personal injury case speak to a personal injury law attorney today. Contact the Vinson Law Office for a free first consultation.