A speedy trial like those seen in primetime dramas is far from the reality of what actually happens within the legal process. Another thing many people aren’t aware of is how often cases are settled out of court. Although countless lawsuits are filed each day across the country, most will be settled without going to trial. When one is injured in a car accident, for example, securing a fair amount of monetary compensation is the ultimate goal, but what happens when going to court is not an option? Below, we’ll discuss the benefits of settlements and why you should consider one.
Seeking the best legal guidance should be a priority for anyone dealing with a civil matter. The lawyers of Fryer & Hansen can step in and guide you in the process.
What is a Civil Case?
In law, there are criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases involve charges against a person for committing a crime such as robbery or murder. Civil cases generally involve two parties attempting to settle a dispute that requires legal intervention such as contract disputes and lawsuits stemming from car accidents. These lawsuits are always filed by the plaintiff against a defendant, however, countersuits aren’t uncommon.
Cases involving divorce, child support, child custody and lawsuits stemming from personal injuries are handled in civil court. Car accidents account for a large portion of civil disputes in the United States. A typical lawsuit stemming from a car accident involves negligent actions like drunk or reckless driving on the part of a defendant. Plaintiffs going through medical treatment to recover from an accident can file a lawsuit seeking restitution. These are known as personal injury civil cases.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement is a mutual agreement between both parties that can be reached before or even during a trial. Settling a case out of court can be beneficial to both sides. Like we said earlier, despite what we see on television or in films, cases rarely, if ever, go to trial. There could be a variety of reasons such as costs and the time needed to seek a conclusion. Attorneys almost always suggest settlements.
One of the major benefits of settling out of court is privacy. Settlements are private matters concluded behind closed doors. However, trials become public record, unless a judge orders for records to be sealed. If not, anyone is free to look up details of a trial, from the names of both parties to the amount reached in a lawsuit.
A Timely Matter
Our own Brian Hansen acknowledges how time constraints can be one of the biggest reasons cases are settled out of court. “Settling a case before it goes to trial can be one of the safest options for an attorney and his or her client. There is far less risk than going to trial, plus, there is a quick turnaround for the client to get the damages they were awarded.”
Trials can take years to end. Furthermore, they may not begin until several months after an initial claim or lawsuit has been filed. Also, if a defendant disagrees with the outcome, they can file an appeal, further delaying or preventing a satisfactory conclusion for the plaintiff. This can also result in more lawyer and court fees.
Let Us Help
Suffering injury on the road due to another driver’s irresponsibility or at work can be overwhelmingly difficult to deal with. Know that we’ll take a look at your personal injury case to determine the best course of action. Whether settling out of court or going to trial, we’ll do our best to uphold your interests. Get in touch with our law firm in McAllen to get started today.