Most Pennsylvania Civil Litigation Cases Settle Out of Court – Should You?
Did you know that the vast majority of civil litigation cases settle out of court? In fact, over 90% of these cases are settled instead of going to trial and verdict. There are pros and cons to settling outside of the court room, but each case is very different. Have you considered settling your case, but you’re unsure if it’s the best option? Read on to learn more about settlements and how a Norristown civil litigation attorney can help you figure out what’s best for your case.
What It Means to Settle Your Case
When I talk about settling a case, I essentially mean you will be cutting a deal with the other side. A lot of compromise goes into settling a case out of court, since one or both parties usually feel that they have a good chance at winning if the case went to trial. There can be benefits for both parties when a case is settled, though, so it’s important to consider the risk and reward of seeing your case through to trial compared to settling it. Our Norristown litigation attorneys can help you analyze the unique aspects of your civil litigation case.
Why So Many Cases Settle
With such a high percentage of civil litigation cases being settled out of court, the benefits to this approach are obviously quite compelling. If you’re involved in a products liability, employment, or municipal civil case, it’s important to understand what a settlement can offer.
Here are some of the most common reasons a client may want to settle their case:
Give yourself a guarantee
You can control the outcome of a settled case. Sure, you may need to concede in some small ways, but you’ll still know what to expect with a settlement agreement. When you litigate in court, there’s no way to know for sure what the outcome will be.
When a case drags on longer than expected without either side budging from their demands, attorney fees can quickly climb. There are also costs associated with preparing and filing the necessary court documents that permit a case to go to trial. Some clients choose to take a case to trial and verdict in hopes of recouping some of their costs, but that’s a gamble many people can’t afford.
If you’re dealing with hearings and other court issues that seem to be dragging on, a settlement may start to look more appealing. You may end up better off financially if the court sees eye to eye with you on your case, but again, there’s no guarantee. Do you want to stick it out until the verdict and gamble all along the way, or do you want something set in stone that will allow you to move on with your life?
Choosing a Trial Over a Settlement
Pennsylvania has 67 counties but only 60 judicial districts. Some districts are comprised of two counties, while others are just one county. When you choose to pursue your case all the way into a Pennsylvania civil trial court, there are several steps the court always follows.
You will have to fill out and file paperwork at the beginning of your case prior to the other party being served with the complaint. The other party is then given an opportunity to provide an “answer” to your claim. Once this is complete, you will have an opportunity to testify. The defendant will also have a chance to testify. The court will ultimately make its ruling based on the testimony you and the other party provided.
The trial process is not always straightforward. The parties involved often end up waiting months on end for their court dates, and sometimes what seems like a clear-cut case turns out to be anything but. Many settle out of court for these reasons, but if you believe in your claim you should never feel pressured to settle your case if you want to have your day in court instead. A good Philadelphia litigation attorney will explain how all the factors affect your case and offer their professional opinion, but they should ultimately respect your decision.
Consult a Philadelphia civil litigation attorney for guidance and be prepared to do what’s best for your case. Whether you choose to settle your civil legal matter outside of court or decide to see it through to a trial, you can look forward to the sense of relief you’ll feel at the conclusion of your case.