Civil Suits vs. Settlements

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When people are involved in an automobile accident, there are generally two ways to recover any damages sustained. While most people tend to think of trials when they think of recovery, there is another option available to injured motorists. The alternative to court is the settlement, which is essentially an out-of-court agreement to discontinue a claim for a cost. While each form of resolving a conflict has its own pros and cons, in the end, deciding which option to pursue depends on the specifics of your particular case.

Civil Suits

The civil suit is a fairly straightforward process, starting with the filing of a complaint, and ending with a judgment by a court. While there are benefits to going to trial, such as trial being a structured process, or the exchange of information during the discovery process, one of the primary benefits of trial is that it is possible for a plaintiff to receive compensation for injuries sustained or for any loss resulting from the accident, regardless of how cooperative the defendant chooses to be.

Unfortunately, just as court has its benefits, there are also downsides to going to court. Not only can the court process be a lengthy one, but it can also provide a great deal of stress to the parties involved. In addition, due to legal fees and expert witness fees, the court process can also be a costly one. Finally, there is no guarantee that the case will come out in favor of the plaintiff, and if the plaintiff suffers a loss, then he would lose any chance at recovery. Fortunately, parties are free to settle a case out of court even after a case has been filed with the court.


While the court process has a definite beginning and end, the settlement process is more nebulous. A settlement can be made at any time before a final judgment, and can even take place at the scene of the accident. The primary benefits to a settlement are a guaranteed recovery, as well as the fact that settlements are often a more expedited way to obtain recovery. In addition, parties can achieve solutions within a settlement that may not be achievable in a courtroom.

For all these benefits, however, there are also some downsides to the settlement process. Not only is the outcome dependent on the agreement of both parties, but there is also no guarantee that the opposing party will present an offer that meets the needs of the injured party. In addition, a plaintiff may incur certain costs over time as a result of the injuries sustained that may not have been foreseeable at the time of the accident, leaving the injured party to cover the whole cost on his own.

Contact an Attorney

While automobile accidents can be stressful enough on their own, the assistance of an experienced attorney can make a world of difference. Not only can you obtain valuable advice on how to proceed, but you can also get a better understanding of how to best recover any damages or injuries sustained. If you are looking for an experienced attorney, contact the David Aylor Law Offices for a free case evaluation.

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