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To Sue or Not to Sue? Weighing the Pros and Cons of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

filing a lawsuit

After an accident, injury victims often find themselves facing a difficult decision: should I file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or try to settle out of court? This can feel overwhelming, especially when still coping with injuries, medical bills, lost income, and emotional trauma. However, weighing the pros and cons of legal action is a critical step on the road to justice and compensation.

As your trusted legal advisors, we aim to provide an honest, comprehensive look at litigation – both the potential benefits and the challenges involved. Our goal is to empower injury victims to make informed choices aligned with their needs and values. Here’s what we tell our clients to consider when deciding if a lawsuit is the right move.

The Potential Benefits of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

1. Maximizing Compensation

Successful verdicts and settlements often result in greater compensation than pre-trial offers by insurance companies. Juries and judges may award damages covering all losses – medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. Compensation through a lawsuit may more fully cover losses and needs.

2. Uncovering the Full Story

Through legal discovery and investigation, lawsuits allow access to evidence and witnesses that paint a complete picture of liability and damages. Thorough discovery and investigations into the accident circumstances, the defendant’s negligence, and the full extent of injuries and damages can result in greater compensation.

3. Retaining an Experienced Legal Team

By filing suit, injury victims gain the experience and resources of an experienced personal injury law firm. Personal injury attorneys know how to build strong cases, conduct discovery, negotiate to increase settlement value, and skillfully try cases before juries if needed. Retaining a legal team levels the playing field.

4. Pursuing Accountability and Safer Practices

Lawsuits can motivate defendants and insurance companies to implement safer policies and practices. Successfully holding at-fault parties liable delivers a message that negligence has consequences. While not guaranteed, legal action has the potential to spur positive changes that prevent future injuries and accidents.

5. Gaining Options Through Negotiation

Even after filing, most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations rather than trials. Starting legal proceedings often brings defendants to the table for earnest negotiations that can lead to fair settlements. Savvy negotiations by your legal team after filing a suit may resolve the case favorably.

6. Having Your Day in Court

If a satisfactory settlement isn’t reached, a lawsuit gives injury victims their “day in court” – an opportunity to present evidence to an impartial jury and judge. Successful verdicts provide compensation and a sense of closure and justice. While not guaranteed, trials allow for formal resolution by a legal authority.

The Challenges and Drawbacks of Litigation

1. Time Commitment and Delays

Legal cases take time – often months or years, depending on complexity. A lawsuit involves meetings with attorneys, producing evidence, depositions, procedural delays, and eventually trial if necessary. Plaintiffs must be committed for the long haul.

2. Stress and Emotional Difficulty

Lawsuits require reliving the accident and injuries. The claims process also brings stress and anxiety while awaiting resolution. Emotional readiness for the ups and downs of litigation is key. Support from family and legal counsel can assist in coping.

3. Upfront Costs and Expenses

Though we work on contingency, lawsuits have unavoidable costs – case expenses, legal fees if resolution fails, and the risk of paying defense fees in some instances. While unavoidable, expenses may be recovered upon a successful outcome, but they represent a financial risk.

4. Uncertainty of Outcome

Court cases have an element of uncertainty. The legal team can’t guarantee results. Jury verdicts and judicial rulings are out of lawyers’ control. Uncertainty makes litigation stressful. Clients must weigh risks versus potential rewards.

5. Strained Relationships

Lawsuits against friends, family members, or ongoing business contacts may irrevocably damage those relationships. Lawsuits should only be pursued if plaintiffs are comfortable with permanent relational changes.

Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Your Best Interest?

Lawsuits have clear benefits but also pose risks and drawbacks. There are no blanket recommendations on whether to sue or not. We advise weighing all factors carefully and having honest discussions with your legal team. Evaluate whether the potential benefits outweigh the commitment, costs, emotional demands, uncertainty, and relational impacts based on your unique circumstances.

What does your intuition tell you after considering the pros and cons? What path aligns with your goals and values?

If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, rest assured that our capable team will walk with you through each stage of litigation. We have the experience and tenacity to deal with insurance companies, obtain evidence, negotiate optimum settlements, and take your case to trial if justice requires. If an out-of-court resolution seems preferable, we can effectively negotiate those agreements, too.

Regardless of your decision, you don’t have to handle this alone. We’re here to support and guide you each step of the way. The choice of whether to file suit is complex. No single formula leads accident victims to the perfect solution. Open and honest discussions with caring legal counsel are invaluable when weighing your options.

If you have questions or need guidance on the pros and cons of legal action, please contact our team at Pickford Law. We’re always happy to listen and help you make confident decisions during this challenging time. Here’s to restoring your peace of mind and obtaining fair outcomes after injury. You have options.

Contact us for a free consultation.


Author Bio

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is a highly skilled attorney and the founder of Pickford Law. Her legal practice is committed to representing clients on various legal matters, including social security disability, veterans’ disability, estate planning, and personal injury. With over ten years of experience in law and a license to practice in Tennessee and Arkansas, Shalondra is committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation to each client.

Shalondra received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is a member of the Tennessee and Arkansas State Bar Associations. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the exclusive Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers in 2017 and again in 2022.

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