To Settle or Not to Settle: The Pros and Cons of taking a Settlement

To Settle or Not to Settle: The Pros and Cons of taking a Settlement

If you have sought compensation after suffering wrongly at the hands of another, you may have received an offer for a settlement. Should you accept it? That depends on your situation, but here are some factors to consider as you make your decision.

Settlement Pros

1. It’s Over Sooner: Lawsuits can drag on for months and even years during which you will not receive one cent of compensation. Settling out of court allows you to collect the money right away and move on with your life.

2. You Know What You’re Getting: When you take a settlement, you know how much you are getting upfront. When you take the case to trial, there is always a chance that you could lose and walk away with nothing.

3. Private: Out-of-court settlements are typically conducted in privacy and without media exposure. If you are uncomfortable having the details of your personal life on public record, settlement may be a good option.

Settlement Cons

1. Less Money: Settlements typically bring in less money than winning the case would have.

2. Guilty Go Free: Many victim legal representatives will recommend that their clients proceed to trial because taking a settlement does not bring illegal or abusive behavior to justice.

3. Private: The private nature of a settlement allows the defendant to pay you off without suffering any negative publicity for their actions.

Trial Pros

1. More Money: You are likely to get more money if you take your case to court – especially if you have an emotionally compelling case.

2. Time To Discover Full Extent of Injury: With injuries, it can be months before doctors can accurately determine how much permanent damage has occurred. Injury victims should not accept a settlement until they know the full extent of their injuries.

3. Exposes the Guilty: Victims can experience vindication for their suffering by bringing the guilty to justice. It also prevents the wrongdoer from hurting someone else.

Trial Cons

1. Money Not Guaranteed: If you lose, you get nothing.

2. Takes Longer: It may be years before you see a dime.

3. More Legal Fees: Even though you may win more money, you won’t be able to keep as much of it. Legal fees escalate the longer the lawsuit drags on.

Both settlements and trials have pros and cons. Ask your legal representative for additional insight into your case. Don’t make any rash or quick decisions. Take your time to discuss your options with any family members involved and your attorney before deciding what is the best decision for you.

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