Statistics show that roughly 90% of all personal injury lawsuits throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario Province settle before they ever go to court. Settling out of court costs less, is less risky, and typically happens much quicker. It can also provide more benefits than if the case is litigated until the jury makes their final decision. The following is a list of reasons for settling out of court.
- It is hard to predict damages and liability in the courtroom – although the plaintiff may be awarded more compensation by a jury compared to what the defendant has offered, there’s no guarantee that it will work out this way. Trials can be unpredictable to say the least. For instance, eyewitnesses may be unreliable, the judge may exclude some evidence, the plaintiff’s testimony may have some inconsistencies, and so on.
- The trial process could take years – for instance, if the plaintiff wins, the defendant can appeal the verdict and prolong the final decision. Plus, it could be up to a year before the trial commences. Even the simplest of personal injury cases in Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton, the entire process from filing to settling after several appeals could take up to 4 years. This is a long period when you will have to go without any financial assistance.
- Trials are public; settlements are not – the details of a trial are always a matter of public record unless the judge has ordered that the records be sealed prior to the start of the trial. This means that every bit of evidence, witness testimonies, and anything else that the plaintiff and defendant use to make each other look bad will be made available so that anyone who wants to read the details can.
- Trials can be extremely stressful – the legal process involved in a personal injury case is not only complex, it can be extremely stressful for the plaintiff as well as the defendant. They are having their character questioned in public while at the same time enduring multiple examinations and cross examinations. Plus, the weeks prior to the court date can be very labor intensive for the defendant, plaintiff, and their lawyers.
- Unlike trials, settling out of court is less expensive – in most cases, the plaintiff or injury victim has chosen a personal injury lawyer that operates on a contingency fee to handle their case. Since trials can be very time intensive, the plaintiff would be looking at a significant expense that they would have to pay out of their own pocket.
On a closing note, it is always advisable to settle out of court for the above reasons. Plus, personal injury lawyers in Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton as well as other communities throughout the GTA will guide you throughout the legal process if you retain their services for your particular case.