Many wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and workplace discrimination cases end up settling prior to trial. There are a lot of reasons why cases settle, but in many instances the defendant wants to save face, some time, and money. Settling your case might be tempting. After all, it avoids the need to drag what has been a difficult time in your life into the public spotlight. It can also lead to the recovery much more quickly than going to trial would. But is your settlement offer right for you?
Analyzing a settlement offer
In order to determine if a settlement offer is in your best interests, you need to consider a number of factors. Here is a look at the big picture as it pertains to some of them.
- How powerful is your evidence? You need to scrutinize your evidence, especially in light of applicable law. If your evidence is strong, then you might be in a better position to succeed at trial and recover additional compensation in excess of your settlement offer. If your evidence has some potential weaknesses, then you’ll want to assess your ability to minimize them as well as the impact they could have at trial. If your evidence is weaker, then a settlement might look more appealing.
- How much is your case worth? You have to know the value of your case before you can determine if a settlement offer is right. Once you have that figure, then you can make a decision about whether the financial incentive of going to trial, in light of the strength of the evidence, is worth the risk. Calculating your damages can be challenging, of course, especially when you’re talking about non-economic damages like pain and suffering. An experienced attorney might be able to help with these calculations.
- How badly do you want to litigate? Litigation can be stressful, drawn out, and risky. You’ll have to be willing to air every detail of your case in court and be willing to risk it all in hopes of recovering the full extent of your losses. This can be a hard decision to make, but discussing your situation with an attorney might help provide you with some guidance.
Take a detailed approach to your case
Decisions regarding your case shouldn’t be made lightly. They need to be made with a strong understanding of the law and your likelihood of success at trial. But you might be able to increase your chances of success at trial and your leverage during negotiations by being diligent in preparing your case. If you think that you could benefit from assistance in building your case and maximizing your chances of success, then it might be time to discuss your case with an attorney.