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Some factors who contribute to wrongful termination settlements include uncertainty about the outcome of a case, the expense of a trial, time, and emotional strain. A wrongful termination lawsuit is a case where a person claims that his former employer fired him in violation of some law. The person filing the suit is the plaintiff and the employer is the defendant. Like other lawsuits, the parties may settle the case out of court. A settlement means that the parties have reached an agreement on how to resolve the dispute without going through a trial.
Uncertainty about the outcome of a case is a significant factor that often compels wrongful termination settlements. If lawyers are involved in the case, they likely explain to their respective clients that there is an element of uncertainty involved in every lawsuit. In other words, it is possible to lose the case. Accordingly, a lawyer is unlikely to guarantee a victory for his client because numerous factors may affect the outcome such as a witness changing his story, a witness dying, or a judge refusing to allow a jury to examine a key piece of evidence such as a document.
The expense of a trial is another factor that causes parties to reach wrongful termination settlements. Each party is likely to hire lawyer because employment laws are complex. Of course, lawyers often charge a substantial amount of money to provide legal representation. Usually, lawyers base fees on an hourly rate, and it may take hundreds of hours to prepare for a trial. Other costs may include filing fees, witness fees and fees to deliver documents; there might be more depending on the complexity of the case.
Time is also a factor that contributes to wrongful termination settlements. Taking a wrongful termination case to trial may take months or years depending on the jurisdiction. Even after a court decides a case, the losing party may file an appeal. This adds more time to end a case. A settlement saves time and allows the parties to move on with their lives.
Emotional strain is also a consideration for many clients. A wrongful termination case often causes each party to suffer anxiety about the situation. Both parties have to place their lives on hold while a case is pending. This often leads to each party developing a desire to end the dispute as soon as possible.
@Certlerant - Although it's true the deck is stacked against the plaintiff in a wrongful termination suit, some people do have good cases and should move forward, if for nothing else but to get some of the pay or benefits that may be owed to them.
Wrongful termination is difficult to prove. However, if you kept good records of personal and company-wide memos from management, work hours, work performed and the chain of events that ultimately led to termination, you have a good chance of winning.
In addition to the cost and stress associated with suing a former employer for wrongful termination, you have to consider how filing the lawsuit will affect your chances of getting work in the future.
A lot of potential employers may immediately back away from someone who is or was caught up in litigation with their old boss.
If you think your chances are good to get another job in your field in the near future, it might be a good idea to forget the old employer and move on.
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