Trial Vs. Settlement For A Personal Injury Case

Trial Vs. Settlement For A Personal Injury Case

After being involved in an accident that was not your fault, you have now suffered a personal injury that has greatly changed your life. Not only is your work affected, but so is your mental health, use of your body, and various other commitments and hobbies. You wish to get compensation and hire a personal injury lawyer who discusses your options and whether you should opt for a settlement or go to trial.

While the majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court, there are times when going to trial would be better for you. Having a trial is usually the second option if the lawyer has already exhausted the first option of trying to obtain a settlement outside of court. But which is better? Trial vs settlement. The answer is that it greatly depends on your case. Here are some of the pros and cons of both trials and settlements.

Settlement

A settlement is a formal resolution of the lawsuit/case before it goes to court and is decided by a jury or judge. It represents a good faith agreement between the two parties outside of court. It is achieved after extensive negotiations with the opposing party.

The process of settling personal injury claims via a settlement involves the plaintiff’s attorneys submitting a demand letter to the defendant, the defendant’s insurance company, or lawyer. The defendant’s attorney then submits a response or counteroffer to the demand package and both attorneys begin the negotiation process for the settlement.

Pros and Cons of Settlement

Getting a settlement and avoiding a trial has several benefits such as reduced unpredictability and stress as both parties know the terms before signing the agreement. They can also control what goes public and what information remains private. Settlements are also significantly faster than personal injury trials and allow the affected parties to resolve the matter and move on with their lives quickly.

The attorneys’ fees are also significantly reduced if a trial is avoided. However, settlement claims may result in the plaintiff receiving less money than if they had gone to court. The plaintiff is also unable to negotiate a different deal or ask for more money as settlement decisions are final.

Trial

During a personal injury trial, the affected parties will present their arguments to a jury or judge. The trial ends in a verdict whereby the jury or judge determines whether the defendant should be held liable for the damage alleged by the plaintiff.

Pros and Cons of Trials

While the risks of a trial usually vary with different cases, trials are generally riskier and more unpredictable than settlements. It is also more expensive and has a longer duration spanning several years compared to settlements which can be achieved in a few months. The relevant parties also have lesser privacy as all trial records are open to the public and this removes any confidentiality. However, successful trials end with far greater compensation amounts compared to settlements and it also improves the sense of justice for personal injury victims.

Unsure how to approach a settlement negotiation? You don’t have to go it alone. Contact a personal injury attorney today.