I tell the kids, ‘somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose.
Just don’t fight about it. Try to get better.’
– Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame Baseball Player
Some win. Some lose. That’s typically how it works, isn’t it? Whether it is a business deal, a war, a game, or just life in general, there must be a winner and a loser, right? Or must there be? No one wants to be on the losing side of any effort, and in some realms, this can be altogether avoided. A win-win situation is possible, of course, depending on how the game is played.
In the legal world, one way to create a win-win situation is settling a suit outside of court. Generally, here’s how it works. One party offers a payment or award of some kind to the other party. It is usually less than the amount asked for in the lawsuit, but obviously more than they would get if they were to lose. There are many reasons to settle out of court, and it can often be a benefit to all parties involved. Here are a few reasons.
Trials can be expensive, and the longer the trial goes and the more time put into depositions, research, travel, and preparation, the more costly it can be. When you settle, even though it may be for less than you were asking, once you factor in the cost of the trial it is often worth it for everyone.
In a trial, sometimes personal and private details about your life can become public. Keeping a lawsuit out of the courtroom protects the privacy of everyone involved.
Juries are unpredictable. When you put the decision in the hands of a jury, you never know how it will turn out. It doesn’t matter how right you are or how wrong they are, it only matters what the jury believes. Settling out of court takes the guesswork out of it.
Trials are stressful, and can sometimes drag out for as long as 3 years. And then there is an appeals process, which can add more time on top of that. The fastest way to get the whole thing behind you is often to come to an agreement outside of court, which removes the possibility for an appeal.
When you settle out of court, there is no guilty verdict. Coming to an agreement before the trial concludes often allows the defendant to pay for a mistake without an admission of guilt.
It doesn’t always make sense to settle. Sometimes the lawsuit is about more than money, and you need to see it through to the end. Sometimes the terms of the settlement cannot be agreed upon or are unfair to one side or the other. But if you find yourself in the midst of a lawsuit, Jason Neufeld and his team can help you decide whether or not a settlement is in your best interests. Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert is a law firm you can trust, and we have the experience to help you get the compensation you deserve.