Should I Accept a Settlement? | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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Should I Accept a Settlement?

Oct 21, 2016 | Business Law

While determining whether to settle or go to trial is entirely your decision, having the help of a skilled Alabama personal injury attorney makes all the difference.

If you’ve ever filed a lawsuit, you may have been approached by someone representing the other party about a cash settlement. This brings up the age-old question: should I accept a settlement or take my case to trial? The truth is that all situations and lawsuits vary. Only by analyzing the details of your case can you decide which route is best.

The personal injury attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. have the experience necessary to help you decide whether a settlement should be taken. We will evaluate factors such as the chance of successfully proving liability and legal precedents to ensure that you get the most money for your efforts. Call now at (205) 933-1500 for a free consultation.

When to Take a Settlement

By definition, a settlement is a legal resolution that does not involve the matter being determined by either a judge or a jury. In general, the defendant will offer the plaintiff money in exchange for signing a form that releases the defendant from liability. Settlements are also less costly, as they do not require either side to pay extensive legal fees.

One way that a skilled lawyer can determine if a settlement should be taken is by evaluating the odds of winning the issue of liability. If the defendant is obviously liable, then going to court may be advised. If on the other hand, there is less than a 60% chance of proving that the defendant was liable, a lawyer may recommend taking a settlement.

The benefits of taking a settlement should always be considered, both by the plaintiff and their attorney. The benefits of taking a settlement include, but are not limited to:

  • Saving money on legal costs
  • Being guaranteed a sum for your efforts
  • Avoiding the unpredictability of a jury
  • Avoiding litigation that could take years to resolve

When to Go to Court

Although settling a lawsuit out of court is a popular outcome, sometimes a case needs to be taken to trial. In cases regarding the parameters of a law, for example, it may be essential to take a case to court in order to set a precedent for future occurrences. Another instance that warrants going to court might involve a low settlement offer in a case where you have a high chance of proving that the defendant was liable. In this case, going to court may lead to a reasonable recovery that is well worth the wait.

In other instances, the defendant may force your hand. They may not make a settlement offer at all, or they may threaten to sue you in return. In these cases, a lawyer may advise standing your ground and taking your case to trial. The defendant’s tactic may be intended to scare you away.

Consult an Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer

At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., our attorneys represent clients all throughout the state of Alabama with lawyers located at any of our four, office locations. To find out more about how we can best represent you, learn how our Montgomery personal injury lawyers, Mobile personal injury lawyers, Huntsville personal injury lawyers, and Birmingham personal injury lawyers can help you.

Our law firm can use our experience navigating the court system to advise you on matters of settlement. Whether it is a case involving business law or a personal injury, we will use the knowledge and resources at our disposal to determine the best course of action for your particular case.