When considering whether to compromise or file a lawsuit, each option has pros and cons. If you decide to compromise, you can avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit. However, you may also have to give up some of your rights or accept less than what you’re owed.
If you sue the at-fault party, you may get more money or a better outcome. However, it may take longer and cost more money.
Negotiating a Claim Out of Court
Negotiating a claim without going to court means that you and the responsible party meet to try and settle the conflict between the two of you, with the help of an attorney if desired. This can be done informally, through mediation, or arbitration.
For example, this may be the best option for minor injuries where there is little to no dispute about who was at fault. It may also be the best option if you want to avoid the stress of a trial. According to the Nova Scotia Insurance Act, minor injuries are usually referred to as “soft tissue injuries,” such as sprain and strain (see this page for minor injury cap explained).
However, if your minor injury resulted in high medical bills, you may want to consider going to court to recover those costs. If the responsible party refuses to negotiate in good faith or is uncooperative, you may also want to file a lawsuit. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Advantages of Negotiating Out of Court
There are several advantages to negotiating your claim out of court:
- It’s usually cheaper and faster than going to trial.
- You have more control over the outcome.
- It’s less stressful than going to trial.
- You can maintain a good relationship with the responsible party.
- You can avoid the risk of a jury finding in favor of the defendant.
Disadvantages of Negotiating Out of Court
There are also some disadvantages to negotiating your claim out of court, such as:
- You may not get as much money as you would if you went to trial and won.
- The responsible party may not cooperate or refuse to negotiate in good faith.
- You may have to give up some of your rights.
Filing a Lawsuit
Your case will likely take longer and cost more money than if you had chosen to compromise out of court. But filing a lawsuit may be the best option for you in some situations.
For example, if you’ve suffered a serious injury, such as a brain or spinal cord injury, you may consider filing a lawsuit so that you can recover damages for your pain and suffering and any lost wages or future earnings.
You may also want to file a lawsuit if the responsible party refuses to negotiate in good faith or is uncooperative. For instance, they deny that they are at fault in a car accident, even though the police report says otherwise.
Advantages of Filing a Lawsuit
There are some benefits of filing a lawsuit, such as:
- You may be able to get more money than if you had chosen to compromise out of court.
- You may get a better outcome, such as an apology from the responsible party.
- The responsible party may be more likely to cooperate if they know you’re willing to go to trial.
Disadvantages of Filing a Lawsuit
However, there are also some disadvantages to filing a lawsuit, including:
- It will likely take longer and cost more money than negotiating your claim out of court.
- You may have to go through the stress of a trial.
- You may not get the outcome you want.
- The responsible party may refuse to cooperate, even if they know you’re willing to go to trial.
The Bottom Line
When deciding whether to negotiate a claim out of court or file a lawsuit, consider the advantages and disadvantages of negotiating your claim out of court and going to trial. You should also speak with an attorney (such as Valent legal team) to get their professional opinion on what is best for your particular case, including personal injuries.