Guest post contributed by Charles Worthering, on behalf of Accident-compensation.co.uk. Charles is a solicitor and works with clients on cases pertaining to accident compensation claims. In his spare time he enjoys writing about claims, patent disputes and infringement claims.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you could be eligible for compensation from the driver who caused the accident. Similarly, if you’ve been injured in an accident at work, you can bring a claim for compensation against your employer. In the UK, claims for compensation are filed through the county court system. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to settle a claim out of court. Settling out of court avoids a lengthy legal process, but you might get a larger settlement by going through the courts. There are both pros and cons to claiming in court, which are explained in this article.
Benefits of Settling Out of Court
Sometimes, it is possible to settle compensation claims out of court. The other party might agree to pay you a settlement to avoid having to go through a court process. Settling out of court offers benefits for both parties, as you don’t have to go through the stressful process of arguing the case in court.
One of the main disadvantages of claiming in court is that the process can drag on for a long time. Settling out of court means that you don’t have to wait as long to get your payment. This is advantageous if you have bills that you need to pay urgently, or if you are experiencing urgent financial difficulties due to not being able to work because of your injuries.
The other big disadvantage of claiming in court is that even if you have a strong case, you can never guarantee that you will win. Settling out of court removes the risk of losing the court case and receiving no compensation.
Benefits of Claiming in Court
Even if the other party agrees to settle out of court, you may still prefer to claim in court. Agreeing to settle does not mean that the other party is admitting liability; the payment is simply being offered to avoid having to go to court. You might feel it is important to you to have a judge declare that the other party is at fault.
You might get more money if you claim in court than if you agree to accept the other party’s offer to settle. Compensation amounts that are ordered to be paid by the courts are usually higher than those offered as out-of-court settlements.
Many law firms in the UK offer “no win no fee” arrangements, which means that if you go to court and your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees. If you do win, your solicitor will take his or her fee from the compensation paid by the other party.
Whether you want to settle out of court or take your claim to court, you should contact a solicitor for help. A solicitor can negotiate an out-of-court settlement on your behalf, or guide you through the claims process and represent you in court if you decide to pursue your claim. Your solicitor will also be able to advise you on how likely you are to win if you go forward with claiming in court, so that you can make an informed decision about your best course of action.