Personal injury law allows a person to recover compensation after an illness or injury that occurred due to another party’s negligence. While most people never expect to encounter a legal situation like this, unexpected things can happen at any time. If you recently had a car accident in Redondo Beach, CA, suffered an injury while lawfully present at someone else’s property, or suffered a dog bite injury from someone else’s pet, you should know what to expect from the personal injury legal process.

While most people might expect an intense court battle when they imagine a personal injury lawsuit, the reality is that the vast majority of personal injury cases in Redondo Beach and throughout the United States settle outside of court. Settlement offers several distinct advantages over litigating a personal injury case for all parties involved. However, litigation is not always avoidable. If you expect to participate in a personal injury claim in any way in the near future, you should know the main differences between settlement and litigation for personal injury claims.

Understanding Litigation

If the parties involved in a personal injury case cannot settle the matter out of court, the case will move to the litigation phase. This is a standard trial in which the plaintiff, or the party filing the claim, presents evidence and testimony against a named defendant, the party allegedly responsible for the plaintiff’s claimed damages. Both sides must share their evidence through the discovery process and attend all necessary court appearances.

Litigation is time-consuming and stressful for everyone involved. Attorneys on both sides of a personal injury case will need to conduct extensive research and fact-finding procedures while compiling their cases. This also requires interviewing witnesses, taking depositions, and conducting cross-examinations. Ultimately, the litigation process ends when both sides of the claim present their cases in court before a judge, and the judge will have the final say in the outcome of the claim.

Litigation may sound like the fairest way to handle a personal injury claim, but the reality is that it is risky on the part of the plaintiff. There is no guarantee a judge will see things your way or acknowledge the defendant’s total fault for your claimed damages. Litigation also takes longer than settlement and therefore costs more in attorneys’ fees. Most people who litigate their personal injury lawsuits wind up with far less compensation than they initially expected.

Why Choose Settlement?

When the parties involved in a personal injury claim can achieve a mutually agreeable settlement, they all benefit. Settlement offers a speedier resolution to a personal injury claim. The basic process of settlement is the parties coming together in a formal meeting with their legal representatives to determine a fair settlement. The plaintiff will provide a full accounting of their damages and their expectations. Then, the defendant will have the opportunity to agree to terms and have the plaintiff sign off on their release of liability for the matter.

Speedy settlement can help a defendant get out from under a legal entanglement quickly, potentially helping them evade the financial and social costs of a protracted legal battle. On the other side of the table, the plaintiff benefits by receiving compensation for their losses more quickly, helping them handle unpaid bills and other expenses following their injury. If you have recently experienced a personal injury in Redondo Beach, the right attorney can help you understand what to expect from the litigation and settlement processes and which direction your case might go. Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to arrange a case evaluation with an experienced Redondo Beach, CA personal injury attorney, and learn more about your legal options.