Personal injury cases that go to trial can be time-consuming and expensive for both sides. The majority of these cases never make it to the point of a trial. Instead, these cases typically get resolved using the settlement process.
These settlements are often mutually beneficial for plaintiffs and defendants. No matter which side of the case you are on, negotiating a settlement can be a viable solution.
Factors related to the case
Often, settlements are preferred, as they provide firm conclusions to lawsuits. There are no concerns about the way juries might interpret the circumstances and/or evidence. Neither side has to be concerned about trying to shore up their own side while worrying about the strength of the other party’s case. The logistics of a jury trial are complex, so settlements can be preferable in many cases.
Admission of fault
The admission of fault doesn’t have to happen in personal injury settlements. Language that specifically states defendants are settling without admitting fault can be inserted into the settlement agreement documents. While some plaintiffs might balk over this inclusion, if it enables them to receive adequate compensation for purported damages, most will acquiesce.
A positive point for both sides is knowing the exact amount of compensation to be paid out. Both sides should consider past, present and future costs associated with the injury. The figure for future damages will have to be an educated guess, but similar past cases can provide good indicators of fair estimations. Attorney fees also need to be considered since they can impact the final figures. Additionally, settlement contracts typically forbid future claims from being made for the incidents.
Clauses to consider
One benefit to settlements is that they can include clauses that customize the agreements. A confidentiality clause could prevent both sides from discussing the case, which can protect both sides. This stops the public from learning how much compensation was received. Other clauses might include specific remedies that defendants will take to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.
The negotiation process for a personal injury settlement can be tense. The involved parties have to look out for their own interests. It is important for everyone to remain open-minded to avoid the process stalling. While going to trial is certainly an option, most parties prefer to resolve the process quickly.