(219)736-9700 info@davidholublaw.com

Why a Settle?

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from a client who called to discuss a possible settlement offer on their case. They asked why should we settle, don’t we have a strong case?

Lawsuits are time consuming, they are also emotionally, mentally & physically draining. They can consume months, maybe even years of your life, and the outcome of any case that goes to trial is never known until the jury verdict is rendered, which means that until the jury’s decision is made, you hope that you convinced them enough to rule in your favor.

So why do I share this with you? Why showcase the negative aspects of a jury trial?

When people feel wronged in any way they believe suing another is the easiest way to make a point or to be compensated for whatever damage was caused as a result of personal injury or property damage. For some, the damages or injuries aren’t high enough for a lawyer to consider their claim worthy of defending. Or the people have neither the time, patience nor resources to fight a lengthy lawsuit.

But here’s the reality of it all… 90% of cases settle before trial.

That’s right…settle…before trial.

As trial attorneys, our goal is first and foremost to fight for the rights of our clients. And we are always prepared to go the distance if that’s what the client wants. But, knowing that could take up several years of their life, most just want the experience behind them.

On any given week, we receive dozens of calls from people who believe they were wronged in some way. Yes, some of those calls are legitimate, others not so much. Some believe that just by calling a lawyer their claim will be magically acted on by said lawyer who will send letters to the party at fault notifying them of a trial date.

Trying to placate their demands with a simple phrase of…“Sir (or Madam) that’s not how it works”…usually is followed by the caller with “what do you mean that’s not how it work…that’s how it works on TV.”

The process is not that simple. It takes time. And although a letter may be required, a lawyer has no way of knowing an exact trial date a court will schedule in any given case.

So what about these case settlements?

A settlement is an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit that effectively stops the dispute process and any future litigation.

Besides the fact that trials are time consuming, they are also expensive. In weighing the time/cost factor, you might realize that a settlement is a very reasonable, logical approach. The victim receives a fair compensation for their claim while avoiding years of legal wrangling, allowing them to put the matter behind them faster.

Add in the stress and uncertainty of a trial, and a settlement becomes a more viable option over a trial.

The “stress factor” is different for everyone, but in the case of those injured, it comes down to is the case taking you away from your work and costing you money, is it keeping you up at night or otherwise eating away at you and harming your physical health? If so, then it may be wise to settle.

Additionally, the outcome of a trial is uncertain. A jury can swing either way. Why spend all that time, money and effort if there’s a possibility you won’t win a case?

Each lawsuit is different, with different facts and parties. It’s impossible to know whether a settlement is a good idea until the parties involved reach a specific point in the process when an agreement might be possible.

If you were injured by the negligence of another, it is critical that you consult with an attorney who has extensive trial litigation experience. If your case cannot be settled, it is crucial that your attorney understand how to prepare your case for trial and how to win your case.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”