Most people don’t relish the idea of a courtroom battle, or even a brief appearance, especially if they’re recovering from injuries. But when medical bills begin coming in at the same time you aren’t able to work due to serious injuries from a preventable accident caused by someone else, you may decide that braving a court process is worthwhile.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip-and-fall incident at a commercial business, medical malpractice, or any other injury caused by another person in Texas, that person is liable for damages. If the idea of court litigation feels overwhelming, it helps to know that settling out of court is okay in many circumstances. In fact, according to the U.S. Justice Department, about 97% of claims settle out of court.
Many individuals who consider filing a lawsuit over a personal injury case or other legal dispute wonder, “When is it okay to settle out of court and when is it better to take a matter before a judge and jury?”
Benefits of Settling Out of Court in Texas
In some circumstances, there are definite benefits to settling a claim out of court in Texas. An experienced Texas attorney can advise you on the benefits of settling out of court for your particular case or may suggest that you pursue litigation. An out-of-court settlement may be your best option in the following circumstances:
- A settlement is more predictable than a court decision
- Settlement payments typically resolve in a payout much faster than a court award since courtroom litigation can take weeks or months
- In a comparative fault state like Texas, drawing out a claim in court often means the other side will attempt to assign a larger portion of the blame for the accident or incident to you in order to lower the percentage you can recover in your claim. If you have any share of the fault, it’s often best to settle out of court
- Settling out of court is a less stressful and time-consuming option and does not involve court fees
- Settling out of court helps you retain your privacy since court records are public
- Settlement agreements are final while court outcomes may not be final since the defendant has the right to file an appeal
There are many times when settling out of court may be the better option, but it’s always best to discuss the pros and cons of a settlement in your unique case with your attorney.
Disadvantages of Settling Out of Court
Choosing to settle out of court is typically the less stressful and faster option but it does come with some potential drawbacks that could impact your decision. Some disadvantages of foregoing a court decision include:
- If the outcome of court litigation is favorable to your side, court awards are almost always significantly larger than a settlement
- If a defendant is quick to offer an out-of-court settlement it may be because you have a compelling case against them and they’re likely to pay much more in a court award
- A defendant doesn’t have to admit to liability in an out-of-court settlement so you might not achieve the same sense of justice or closure that you would in a court decision finding them at fault
- Having your day in court might be important to you. If you seek the closure of exposing the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing in court for a jury to hear, a court case may be the way to feel justified or to “get your day in court.”
Choosing a Legal Team With Extensive Court Litigation Experience
When you choose an attorney for your legal dispute, it’s best to select a law firm with extensive courtroom experience and a strong history of success. The lawyers at Carew Garcia Bohuslav have successfully litigated hundreds of cases in Texas courtrooms after years spent defending powerful corporate clients before deciding to switch alliances to better serve the Texas communities. We now pursue compensation for defendants who might otherwise have no voice in court. While we typically pursue an ample, out-of-court settlement, we won’t hesitate to take your case into the courtroom when required to achieve the compensation our clients deserve.
Ultimately, deciding when it’s okay to settle out of court and when you should pursue your claim in front of a judge and jury is a matter to discuss and deliberate over with your attorney. Every case is unique, just as every plaintiff’s desired outcome is unique. The personal injury attorneys at Carew Garcia Bohuslav are there to protect your best interests through every step of the legal process in a settlement or in courtroom litigation.