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Is it Better to Settle Your Claim Outside of Court or Go to Trial?


Many people become extremely stressed out over the prospect of taking personal injury matters to trial. This is due to the fact that court seems like a complicated process from the very start, considering the requirements of gathering as much evidence as possible and standing up to the big-name insurance companies while you are going through the healing process. When the idea of court is causing you great stress, you might start to look at other options. Sometimes, an out-of-court settlement sounds appealing for all the right reasons.

Your Options

When you have been injured in an accident, you are faced with two major options: you can agree to a settlement with the insurance company, or you can move forward with a personal injury lawsuit in court. The settlement process occurs when both the defendant and plaintiff agree on the amount of payment that you will receive for your injuries. This might make things seem up in the air, as you never know how much you could get and you might be unsure if it will cover your medical bills and other damages. Once you finally agree to a settlement, you will sign an agreement that will relinquish your ability to bring a claim in the future.

On the other hand, you might find that a civil lawsuit gives plaintiffs more money in the long run, but it also tends to bring more stress. Trials are public, which means that your information is being aired and it could take months for you to get to the end of your trial, adding time to your recovery. This is why it is imperative to understand your options. Today we would like to focus on the many aspects that are appealing when it comes to out-of-court settlement.

Appealing Aspects of Settlement 

Judge's gavelPersonal Negotiations: Face-to-face conversation with another party can sometimes get to the route of the problem, which could help you avoid a lengthy and sometimes-unnecessary court process. The defendant in your case might not know the issue or might have ideas about how you can come to a conclusion over these matters. You might be able to simply come to an agreement and sign on it with the help of an attorney.

Mediation: If negotiation has not helped but you are still open to settlement, mediation might be the right choice for you. In this process, a neutral third party will walk you through your options and give advice to help guide you toward an agreement that works for both of you. You still have the right to file a lawsuit if it doesn’t work out. 

Arbitration: Lastly, you have the option of choosing arbitration. Arbitration is a lot like mediation in some ways, in that you will work with the defendant and a third party. However, in these cases, the third party, known as the arbitrator, will make a legally binding decision in your case. It is a more permanent solution.

Speaking with an Attorney 

Now that you are aware that other options exist when it comes to settling your case, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about how you should proceed with your case. At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, our compassionate West Virginia car accident lawyers have handled a wide variety of cases in and out of court. We believe that you should always have a legal advocate on your side and will help protect your rights at all costs. Contact us for more information on how to move forward at (304) 713-2014.