Settlement vs Trial for Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, seeking the compensation you deserve can help you recover financially. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure you get everything you are owed. Your lawyer should be willing to fight for you and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome. In some cases, it may be possible to achieve this outcome without going to trial through a settlement. In other circumstances, going to trial is necessary.

What is a Personal Injury Settlement?

A settlement is a formal resolution to a personal injury lawsuit that occurs before the parties go to trial. This resolution can take place at any point during litigation, even before officially filing a lawsuit.

The process of arriving at a settlement varies. Typically, it will occur after the injured party’s attorney files a demand letter outlining the damages they have determined are reasonable for their client. The defendant’s attorney typically responds to this demand letter with a counteroffer. The two lawyers will continue to negotiate, and if they arrive at an agreeable amount for both of them, they will sign a settlement document outlining the terms of the agreement.

If the parties do not reach an agreement, the case will go to trial, and a judge or jury will determine if the defendant was negligent. If they decide on negligence, they will also determine what damages to award.

Pros and Cons of a Settlement vs Trial

A skilled personal injury attorney will know when it is ideal to settle a case and when going to trial is necessary to recover the full amount of damages owed. This depends on the specific case, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Here are some pros and cons of settlements you and your attorney may consider:

Pro – Less Time

A settlement is typically quicker than a trial. It reduces the amount of time you need to wait to recover damages.

Pro – Less Stressful

Going to trial can be a stressful process. Although your attorney will do everything they can to prepare you and do the hard work of getting ready for a trial, there will still be some things you’ll need to do.

Pro – Lower Risk

You and your attorney can accept or reject settlement offers. If you go to trial, the final amount will be up to a judge or jury, and there’s a risk of losing the case entirely. A skilled lawyer will evaluate your case and advise you on whether this risk is worthwhile, but they can’t eliminate the possibility of losing.

Con – Potential for Less Compensation

There’s no way to know for sure what compensation you would have received in a trial vs a settlement. However, trials can potentially increase the compensation you receive based on the jury’s opinion. Your lawyer should be sure to factor in the additional cost of going to trial and the risks involved to determine if this is right for your case.

Con – No Admission of Guilt

With a settlement, the defendant typically does not admit wrongdoing. With a trial, the judge and jury will hear both sides and arrive at a verdict. Some plaintiffs appreciate the sense of justice that comes with a trial and want to tell their side of the story, although it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t always worth it.

The Bottom Line>

At the end of the day, you should hire a high-quality personal injury attorney who you can trust. A lawyer makes it easier to determine whether you should go to trial or take a settlement because they have the experience to consider the facts of the case. At Grabb & Durando, we are ready and willing to go to trial and we give every case the thorough attention it deserves. We can help you determine how to move forward to get the compensation you deserve.

Contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
Skip to content