Weighing the Pros and Cons
You will have to consider your own goals in weighing the option of whether to settle your case with the insurance company or go to court.
There are both benefits and negatives in settling your case. The main benefit of a settlement is there is no uncertainty. It is finished and it’s a done deal. A settlement is usually completed a lot quicker than if you go through a jury trial.
The biggest negative of a settlement is you may have to accept less money than if you went to a jury trial. The risk of a jury trial is it’s uncertain. You never know what a jury is going to do. Instead, if you decide to settle you will know exactly the amount of money you will receive.
Settling through Mediation
In Arkansas settlements are normally handled through mediation. In mediation, a neutral party comes to your attorney’s office. This person is a mediator who is trained in negotiations. Both sides attend the mediation and state their positions. The mediator assigns the parties to separate rooms and then goes back and forth with offers and demands. Sometimes mediation becomes an endurance contest. During mediation, the real offer (more specifically, the real money) is not put on the table until late in the day when everyone is tired. By this point, our client often just wants to get this process over with.
Mediators do not side with you or the insurance company. It is the mediator’s job to get your case resolved and to avoid going before a jury. Mediations in Arkansas are about 85% to90% in resolving cases. Only if your case doesn’t settle at mediation would it go before a jury. It usually takes about a year from the time the case is filed until the case is resolved. Compared to other states, this is a very short time.
If you have questions about whether you should settle your case or go to trial, our experienced lawyers will be glad to help.
Give us a call at 479-202-5200.