Many car accident lawsuits are settled outside of court. Out of court settlement can have benefits for all parties involved. For instance, according to USAttorneys, settling a case outside of court can save you money in attorney’s fees, and protect your case from the unpredictability of having to face a jury. A qualified car accident lawyer can often negotiate a good settlement for you outside of court. Settling a case can also save you time. Trials and appeals can take years before they are over.
Out of court settlements have their privacy benefits. For instance, a settlement made in private is often off the public record. For many this is a benefit, as it protects the privacy of all individuals involved. Personal injury cases may involve the discussion of sensitive subjects. Individuals involved may not always want to admit that something wrong took place and individuals often don’t like to admit victimization in such a public forum. While a personal injury trial doesn’t result in a criminal record, the trial is on the public record, meaning that anyone who wants to look up the details of your accident or settlement could find this information fairly easily.
Yet, the benefits of confidentiality in private settlements has definitely been disputed. Not everyone considers confidentiality clauses or the privacy of settlements a good thing. According to the American Bar Association, confidentiality clauses restrict the public’s right to information that could potentially protect them. For instance, confidentiality may hide premises issues, road hazards, and other concerns from the general public. For individuals who are pursuing negligent parties in order to protect future victims from suffering in a similar manner, confidentiality might not necessarily be in the best interest of the case. Many personal injury victims pursue lawsuits in order to raise awareness about certain driving issues, for instance—texting and driving, or drinking and driving. Confidentiality clauses essentially protect the negligent party from having to publicly admit to wrongdoing.
Some lawyers believe that confidentiality clauses can hurt lawyers and their pursuit of justice. For instance, by restricting information about settlement amounts, lawyers lose historical and statistical information that can help them determine a just value for future cases. Some confidentiality clauses are also simply unenforceable. For instance, if your case does go to trial, and information is already on the public record, a confidentiality clause won’t be able to take things off the civil legal record.
Finally, while most personal injury settlements are not subject to taxation by the IRS, if some aspect of the settlement is found to be for confidentiality, then the IRS may find some amount of the settlement taxable. Many individuals avoid using confidentiality clauses in their settlements to avoid the question of taxation from the outset. If there must be a confidentiality clause in a settlement, a nominal amount should be assigned to it.
Settling out of court, while not involving a trial, involves many other complex questions pertaining to the law. Having a qualified Minneapolis, Minnesota accident lawyer on your side can ensure that your rights are protected. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino offers caring and diligent counsel to families and victims of auto accidents either inside or outside of court.
If you’re in Sacramento, CA, and you’re considering lawyers to help you get a settlement for an auto accident you’ve been involved in, Demas Law Group Get Results so you may wish to get in contact with them.