If and when you or someone in Bozeman that you care about is injured by a defective product, you may immediately assume that a large judgment is coming your way from the product's manufacturer. Many of those that we here at Cok Kinzler PLLP have worked with in the past who have suffered similar injuries share the same assumption. They quickly learned, however, that such cases are not always so cut-and-dry.
The Insurance Information Institute lists product liability claims as being the fourth most common element that companies fear. They worry about the damage that such cases can do to their reputations, which often motivates them to settle claims before they go to court. You should never feel pressured into accepting a settlement simply because doing so would be more convenient for all of the parties involved in your case. At the same time, you may want to ask yourself some questions before dismissing an offer altogether, namely:
- How strong is your case? You might view your claim as being a slam dunk, but be prepared for a defendant to challenge your actions and intent should your case go to trial.
- What is the local jury climate like? Some areas might be more prone to juries comprised of members that view lawsuits as frivolous and unwarranted.
- How badly do you need money right now? If they believe it to be in their best interest, a manufacturer may choose to allow a dispute to go to court. That means a lengthier process and loftier legal fees associated with it.
Carefully considering these elements will help you make the most informed decision going forward with your case. More information on the pros and cons of settlements for product liability claims can be found here on our site.