When you’ve been wronged, such as when you suffered a car accident at work, it’s only natural to want justice. The court system is often the best way to get that justice. But sometimes, going to court isn’t the right option – either because it would be too costly or time-consuming, or the chances of winning aren’t good enough.
In those cases, settling out of court may be the best option. But how do you know if it’s the right decision for you?
Negotiating a Claim
Why not consider negotiating a claim instead?
This is the process of negotiating between you (or your lawyer) and the at-fault party’s insurance company to agree on what you should be paid for your injuries.
Benefits of Negotiating
There are several reasons why negotiating a claim may be a better option for you than going to court:
- It’s usually quicker than going to court.
- It costs less money.
- You have more control over the outcome.
- You may get a higher settlement.
Drawbacks of Negotiating a Claim
- There’s a possibility that you cannot get as much money as you would have if you’d gone to court and won.
- The process can be stressful.
- You may not be able to negotiate on your own behalf if the other side’s insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith.
Filing a Lawsuit
This is the process of taking the at-fault party to court to get compensated for your injuries. It involves hiring a lawyer, going through the discovery process, and potentially going to trial. In this case, you want to hire the best car accident lawyer to ensure you get favorable results.
Benefits of Going to Court
- You may get more money than you would have if you’d settled out of court.
- The process is usually less stressful than negotiating a claim.
- There’s less worry about the other side’s insurance company refusing to negotiate in good faith.
Drawbacks of Going to Court
- The process can be very costly and time-consuming.
- There’s no guarantee you’ll win your case, even if you have a strong argument.
Choosing the Right Option for You
So, how do you know whether negotiating a claim or filing a lawsuit is the right option for you? Here are some things to consider:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
If you’ve suffered serious injuries that will have a long-term impact on your life, you may consider filing a lawsuit. This is because the compensation you may receive from a settlement may not be enough to cover your medical bills and other expenses.
For instance, a drunk driver rear-ends you, and you suffer a spinal cord injury that leaves you paralyzed from the waist down. You’ll likely need extensive and ongoing medical treatment and adaptations to your home and vehicle. All of these costs can add up quickly, and a settlement may not be enough to cover them.
Under this circumstance, it’s always best to work with a qualified and experienced attorney, such as this drunk driving accident lawyer Halifax area, to help you get the best possible outcome.
But a smaller settlement may be sufficient if your injuries are minor and have already healed or are expected to heal relatively quickly.
2. The Cost of Going to Court
If taking the at-fault party to court would cost more than you stand to gain in compensation, then it’s probably not worth it. For example, if your damages total $5,000 but would cost $10,000 to hire a lawyer and go to court, you’re not likely to come out ahead.
In this case, it may be better to negotiate a claim with the other side’s insurance company.
3. The Strength of Your Case
A strong case against the at-fault party may want you to consider going to court. This is because you’re more likely to win and receive a higher settlement.
However, if your case is weak or there’s some doubt about who was at fault, then negotiating outside the court may be the best option.
4. The Amount of Time You Have to File a Claim
If there’s much time left to file a claim, you may want to consider negotiating a claim so you can get compensated before it’s too late.
For example, most states have a statute of limitations that gives accident victims time to file a lawsuit. If this time period is close to expiring, you may want to try to negotiate a settlement so that you don’t miss your opportunity to get compensated.
5. Your Preferences
Ultimately, whether to negotiate a claim or file a lawsuit is up to you. If going to court or dealing with the stress of a trial are some things you want to avoid, negotiating a claim may be the best option.
But if you’re willing to go to court and have the time and resources to do so, then filing a lawsuit may be the best way to get the compensation you deserve.
If you’re unsure, speak with a lawyer to get their professional opinion on your case.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whether to negotiate a claim or file a lawsuit can be difficult. There are many factors to consider, and the right option for you will depend on your circumstances. If you’re unsure what to do, it’s always best to consult an experienced attorney to help you evaluate your case and make the best decision for you.