Many, many civil litigation actions don’t reach a trial because they are settled out of court. While television and movies often make settlements look like the best idea for the defense, settlements can also be a good choice for plaintiffs. Here are some things to consider with your attorney before deciding on whether you are willing to settle.
First, will bringing a case to trial have any negative publicity impact for you? Often, this is a top reason that the defense wants to settle a case, but negative publicity — or any publicity — can also be a concern for the plaintiff. You might not be comfortable having your name and business repeatedly covered in the media, for example. While a settlement doesn’t necessarily prevent media coverage of a case, it does tend to reduce it and can make some information about the case confidential.
Second, is there a financial benefit to settling the case? Sometimes, the cost of a long, drawn-out court battle means that a settlement could be a good financial decision for you. This depends on a lot of factors in the case, including the size and legal power of the defense and the strength of the evidence and claim you have against them.
Sometimes, a plaintiff settles because he or she simply doesn’t want to draw the process out any further. In an accident case, where you are dealing with medical bills and recovery, you might want immediate compensation for some of those expenses.
Whether or not you choose to settle is an independent and case-by-case decisions. Since so many factors go into making a strong decision, it’s often a good idea to consult someone who can provide you with information about all of your options.
Source: FindLaw, “Resolution Before Trial: Settlement,” accessed March 25, 2016