If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, you may agree to a settlement offer to get your money as fast as possible or to avoid the uncertainties of trial. It's also important to know why the defendant wishes to settle before taking the offer. Here are some of the common reasons defendants settle injury cases:
To Avoid Defense Costs
Defending an injury case isn't cheap, especially if the plaintiff has a strong case. This is particularly true of complex cases such as product liability or medical injury cases. Such cases typically require the involvement of expert witnesses who have been known to command high fees.
A defendant can decide to settle a case to avoid such costs. If that's the case, then the settlement offer is likely to be lower than what the defendant would expect to spend on defending the case.
To Mitigate the Risks of Litigation
Litigation is a risky thing both for plaintiffs and defendants; you can never be sure how the case will end up. Therefore, a defendant who thinks the case is too risky to litigate can avoid the risk by taking matters into their own hands and offering a settlement. This is likely to be the case if previous resolutions on similar cases don't show a clear pattern that the defendant can use to predict an outcome for the present case.
To Keep Their Actions Away from the Public Eye
In some cases, it is not the outcome of an injury case that hurts a defendant the most, but rather the publicity associated with the trial. For example, a company that has been accused of selling a defective product may not want the whole world to know about it; the negative publicity may make the company lose its customers. In fact, other potential damaging issues may also crop up during the trial and mar the company's image further. Since the company can't control who hears what if the case goes to trial, it may choose to settle the case and keep the issues private.
To Enjoy the Finality Associated with a Settlement
If the plaintiff in an injury case isn't satisfied by a court's ruling, they can lodge an appeal to try and overturn the judgment. The appeal will cause the defendant further resources (chiefly time and money), and may even result in an unfavorable judgment. A plaintiff who accepts a settlement offer loses their right to appeal forever. Therefore, a defendant may decide to settle a case so that they are done with it forever.
Knowing why a defendant wants to settle a case can help you determine whether to accept the offer. For example, a defendant's fear of losing at trial may mean they are convinced you have a strong case. Therefore, listen to your lawyer's advice before accepting or rejecting an offer; the lawyer, like those found at http://www.noblelegalservices.com, will only issue the advice after analyzing the case, including your defendant's reasons for making the offer.