In simplified terms, the pursuit of a settlement, instead of a court-ordered judgment, normally proves less expensive and less risky. Still, anyone with a personal injury case should become aware of all the reasons for pursuing an out-of-court settlement. Those reasons apply to the situation for both the plaintiff and the defendant.
What added expenses must a plaintiff satisfy, after electing to pursue litigation of a personal injury case?
The contingency fee agreement usually states that the plaintiff’s attorney stands to receive a larger percentage of the awarded compensation, if the plaintiff’s case makes its way into a courtroom. While a percentage of 33% goes to the lawyer that has helped with a settlement, a percentage of up to 40% could go to the attorney that has represented a client/plaintiff in court.
Besides paying that larger contingency fee, the plaintiff sees the list of expenses getting longer. A start of litigation means that such a list must include both the court fees and the money that goes unearned, when the plaintiff spends time in a courtroom, rather than at his or her workplace.
If the lawyer decided to seek testimony from any witnesses, during the trial or during the pre-trial deposition, any expert witness would expect to be paid for the time that he or she had devoted to sharing information.
Nature of the risk that gets linked to pursuing litigation
No personal injury lawyer in St Thomas can predict the size of a jury award. Insurance companies fear a verdict that comes with a large award. Still, no plaintiff should feel assured of a jury decision that has called for delivery of a fair compensation.
Any judge has the right to rule in favor of the exclusion of certain pieces of evidence. If a judge were to announce such a ruling, the plaintiff could have a much weaker case. A witness, or even the plaintiff might deliver inconsistent testimony. That could lead to a lowering of the size for any anticipated judgment.
Other factors to consider
The demands related to preparing for and attending a trial adds a good deal of stress to the life of a plaintiff or a defendant. No one can predict the length of a given trial. That fact underscores the level of uncertainty that hangs over any plans that had been made by either of the disputing parties. By the same token, it complicates the task of attempting to form alternative plans.
Any information that a plaintiff or a defendant had managed to keep private, prior to the deposition and trial, could get divulged to members of the public. Lawyers enjoy wide latitude, with respect to the questions that are asked of any witness.