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Transaction or judgment

Settlement or judgment?

The saying goes that a bad deal is better than the best of lawsuits.

This statement is of course caricatural, but hides behind a more serious underlying idea.
The idea that a transaction often represents an acceptable solution, even under suboptimal conditions, given the cost and risks associated with legal action.

Is this correct, in the practice of French law of compensation for bodily injury?

The answer varies, depending on the factual situations and the contexts.

In general, it can be said that French law presents a certain stability and tends towards predictability, allowing those involved in compensation (lawyers, insurers) to estimate the amount of compensation that would be assessed by a Court.

This relative predictability is favored by the publication of compensation benchmarks, which are consulted regularly by the magistrates in charge of judging cases of compensation for bodily injury.

prejudices indemnisables avocat

However, there are many variables:

the compensation benchmarks only give fairly wide ranges

they are different from one jurisdiction to another

the evaluation of all the items of damage of a financial nature (loss of income, assistance by a third party, material damage, etc.) are not subject to any benchmark

and the capitalization tools used fluctuate significantly.

Predictability alone cannot – on its own – justify the principle of a transaction.

Similarly, the – understandable – desire of the victim to collect his compensation as quickly as possible should not in itself justify the systematic use of a settlement.
A transaction should only be considered if several concordant indications suggest that it is an optimal solution.
This excludes any “discount” transaction, since the victim must not lose sight of the fact that the compensation which will be paid to him can only be revised in the event of the occurrence of a new fact, unknown at the time the compensation is paid.

Underweighing the possibility of settling a case requires an in-depth and detailed analysis of all of the following elements:

Quality of the file as a whole, and in particular of the medical expertise carried out

Comparison of the amounts negotiated with the potential compensation that could be arbitrated by the Court

Identification of the competent court, and analysis of its case law

Existence and assessment of the legal risk, i.e. the risk of obtaining, at the end of the procedure initiated, a less favorable result than what is offered amicably.

To a lesser extent, the time necessary for the outcome of a legal procedure, and the cost associated with this procedure, may be taken into account.

In all cases, the decision to compromise or initiate legal action will be taken by the victim, who alone is responsible for this decision.

In this respect, the lawyer will have an important advisory role to play.

The LELIEVRE & SAINT-PIERRE law firm specializing exclusively in the defense of victims will be able to advise you on the most favorable solution. As expert lawyers in personal injury and medical liability, do not hesitate to consult us.


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    Le Cabinet d’Avocats LELIEVRE & SAINT-PIERRE est spécialisé en droit du dommage corporel et de la responsabilité médicale 103 Boulevard Notre-Dame 13006 Marseille