Should You Settle Out Of Court?

If you’re facing an upcoming legal dispute, you probably want it settled as quickly and smoothly as possible. Sometimes, the matter is simple: Person A caused you injury, trauma or inconvenience in a manner that does not comply with the law, and they agree to cooperate and settle the matter directly. An out of court settlement is an agreement between the prosecution and the defence where the accused complies with the conditions agreed upon by both parties in exchange for no prosecution. Oftentimes, however, it is more complicated and both parties may not agree. When the case is not easily resolved, it can be difficult to settle out of court.

When should the matter be taken to court?

There are a few kinds of legal disputes that require a resolution in court. If a person disputes your accusations, for example, the matter will need to be heard in court. Civil law cases are more easily and more often settled out of court than criminal law cases. In civil law cases like personal injury (due to medical negligence, road accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, assault, etc.), you can settle out of court if you only want compensation for your injury and do not wish to press criminal charges. For a criminal case to be made against the person responsible for your injury, you will need to take the matter to court. An attorney can assist and advise you whether you wish to settle in court or not. If the claim for compensation is of a small amount, you can take it to the Small Claims Court. For larger claim amounts, the case will be heard in the Regional Court or even a High Court of South Africa. It is your decision to take the case to court or not, and an attorney can advise you which route would be more prudent for your situation.

Experienced attorneys in South Africa

Taking a matter to court can become expensive, but in some cases, it can also be your best chance for justice. If you are unsure whether you should settle out of court, contact Paul du Plessis Attorneys today.

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