When people think of lawsuits, most will immediately think of a fierce jury trial where lawyers for both sides fight for their clients to the bitter end. Indeed, some lawsuits do go that route. However, the vast majority of lawsuits never make it to trial. This is because, in many circumstances, both sides come to an agreement beforehand and mutually decide to drop the matter. This is called a “settlement.” In a settlement, both sides of a lawsuit agree to terms, and the matter does not make it to court.
There is no set timeframe for how long a settlement takes. A defendant may choose to settle right away, or they may do so right before trial, or not at all. Sometimes, settling a case is the most beneficial option for both parties. However, since each case is unique, there is no guaranteed way to determine whether a settlement is the best route.
If you are considering settling or filing a lawsuit, call The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A.’s Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyers for a free case review at (954) 751-4258.
What is a Settlement?
In law, a settlement is an agreement between both sides of a case to resolve the dispute outside of a jury trial. This is an alternative way to settle a dispute that does not end in a verdict claiming one side is liable or not.
Settlements sometimes have a stigma surrounding them. Plaintiffs may feel like they are being cheated of their day in court or that they are cow-toeing to the defendant. However, this is not the case. Sometimes, a settlement is the best option to make sure that the plaintiff gets their needs met.
Our Miami personal injury lawyer’s job is to get you a “win” in your lawsuit. A win does not necessarily need to be in the courtroom. If you can accomplish what you need without a jury trial, you may want to consider that option.
Why Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Many plaintiffs may question whether it truly is a good idea to settle a case and not go all the way to a jury trial. For some, settling may feel like giving up or throwing in the towel. Alternatively, some plaintiffs might think that accepting a settlement offer from the other side makes them look weak, or they could have done better if they went all the way to trial. The reality of deciding whether or not to settle a case is quite complicated, and no two cases will have the same set of factors to consider when choosing to accept a settlement or not.
It is important to note that settling is an option you have – and nothing more. There are situations where our Palm Beach County personal injury lawyers may advise that settling may be a good move, but the ultimate decision will always be up to you.
A Good Offer
If a defendant makes a settlement offer that satisfies what you wanted out of the lawsuit anyway, you should seriously consider accepting the offer. For example, if you need $500,000 damages and the defendant offers a $600,000 settlement, it would be wise to seriously consider accepting that offer.
Some plaintiffs may feel like a defendant offering to settle is an admission of liability or an indication that their defense is weak. That is not necessarily true. Many defendants will offer to settle out of genuine sympathy for the plaintiff. Do not lose sight of the goal – getting the compensation you need – by trying to “pull one over” on the defendant.
Lawsuits are expensive. This is especially true of a case drags on for months or even years. Legal fees can quickly add up if a case spirals out of control or a trial goes on for a very long time. Settling a case early is an effective way to both resolve a dispute and save on legal fees.
A settlement is a guaranteed outcome because both parties come to an agreement. The reality of any lawsuit that goes to trial is that it is a toss-up. No matter how air-tight each side believes their case to be, the ultimate decision on whether the defendant will be liable or not lies with the jury.
If the prospect of an unknown trial outcome is distressing, settlement may be a good alternative.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
There is no set length of time for how short or long it will be before you can settle a case. This is because either party can offer to settle a case at any time before trial. This could be right after the plaintiff files a lawsuit, the day before trial, or at any point in between. Sometimes, a party will reject a settlement offer, the receive another offer an accept the second offer.
Generally, settlements happen as more facts reveal themselves through discovery – the process by which sides of a case share information and establish a universal base of facts. For example, the defendant may feel they have a strong case when some new information that is bad for their argument comes to light. They may choose to settle to try and avoid damage to their reputation in court.
In rare instances, a settlement offer will happen right away. This generally happens when one side does not wish to take a case to court. In some instances, you can use this to your advantage to negotiate a better settlement. However, be careful to not overstep, or the other side could withdraw their settlement offer entirely.
Talk to Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Our Orlando personal injury lawyers with Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. can be reached at (954) 751-4258 to discuss your case.