When Should You Choose A Settlement?
Legal disputes have many stages before they reach a judge to deliver a verdict, for both civil and criminal cases.
A criminal case involves an arrest, remanding the suspect in custody before proceeding to a trial and later an appeal if required.
A civil case has many stages before it reaches a court, but begins with the defendant being made aware of the case against them, pleading or stating their defence before the trial moves to the disclosure and finally the trial phase.
During this time in civil cases, the two parties with the help of expert legal services are expected to try and resolve issues amicably, and as trials take a very long time, there are many opportunities for a breakthrough that could end the litigation.
This is a settlement or compromise agreement, and the majority of civil cases end with an agreement to not proceed further with litigation.
The reasons why people choose settlements are about avoiding the consequences of the trial itself. Litigation in civil cases can take a long time, and this can be expensive for both parties as well as cause disruption in people’s lives as they take time away to attend trial dates.
It also guarantees that this issue will not be taken further in court, so if either the plaintiff or defendant feel they cannot win the case or that the damages they are expected to win would not cover the cost it takes to fight it, they may decide to settle and avoid further action.
However, if you believe you have a strong case that is likely to win damages that exceed the amount it costs to fight the case, there are times when it is worth fighting a case.
Settlements are not an admission of fault, and people will sometimes settle to avoid having to admit wrongdoing. If this is your aim in pursuing a legal case (for example as a consumer attempting to hold a manufacturer liable), then alternate means of resolving the dispute may not be possible.