When it comes to dealing with the legalities of a case, figuring out when or if one should settle is one of the more difficult parts. There are tell-tale signs of which you may prefer to do, here’s an outline of a few examples of each to consider:
Should I settle my case or go to trial?
- Settle if… you financially simply can’t afford it. Trials tend to get very expensive very quickly. Between attorneys, depositions during discovery, travel, witnesses, and time you’re looking at pouring a lot of money into your case.
- Do not settle if… you’re challenging the constitutionality of a law. Something like this is more intense and will make an important impact on more than just yourself and the defendant. Always consider this before settling.
- Settle if… you want the details kept private. When a case goes to trial, the court documents will absolutely become public records that anyone can have access to (unless the judge orders the records sealed, which doesn’t happen often). Versus settling, where most of the details are not on public record.
- Do not settle if… one or both parties are not being realistic during negotiations and aren’t entirely motivated to settle. While it can be helpful to not have to go to trial, you still want to make sure that both parties are being as fair and just as they can be.
- Settle if… you don’t want to have to worry about the process being dragged on for too long. Settlements typically can’t be appealed whereas the losing party in a trial case can appeal a court judgment which will end up costing you even more in the end.
When it comes to dealing with whether or not to settle, it’s best to refer to your attorney for the final answer. Your counsel can critically analyze the offer on the table and help you to negotiate what you’re entitled to and perhaps save you time and money in the process. It’s their job to weigh all parties of the situation and find the best avenue for you in regards to your case.