Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why People Settle Law Suits

If you've never been involved in a law suit you may wonder why it is that people settle.  Does it mean they admitted they were wrong?  Does it mean they didn't think they would win the case?

Here's a bit about just some of the reasons people decide to settle in law suits:

1. To Avoid Risk
In every law suit, there is a risk that you will lose.  Even if you think you have an airtight case, you have to remember that law suits evolve constantly, new evidence is discovered, the law may be clarified, etc.  That means that the strength of your case could change suddenly.  So, would you rather wait and see if you can win $500,000 with the potential of losing and getting $0 or would you rather take $200,000 today and avoid the risk of not getting anything.

2. Emotional costs
Being involved in a lawsuit, whether it is for divorce, wrongful termination, personal injury, or other types, is hugely emotional and stressful.  As cases go on, some people decide it may not be worth the stress to keep fighting.  Once a case is settled, people tend to find that they can then move on with life.  Depending on the person and the circumstances surrounding the law suit, emotional costs could make someone want to settle their case.

3. Public Opinion
This comes into play more for large companies who do not want the bad publicity of a law suit.  This alone may not cause someone to settle a case but it certainly comes into play.  For example, if there was a sexual assault in the workplace, they may decide it would be a better business decision to try to settle the case rather than fight it in the public eye.

There are many, many reasons why people will decide to settle a case and these are just a few examples.  The decision to settle is a complex decision and requires a lot of communication between the individual and their attorney.  Remember, that's why you have an attorney, to provide you guidance on how to move forward in a case.