Is It Better to Settle Your Case Before Trial?

After you decide to begin a personal injury case, the choice is yours whether to accept a settlement offer or go to trial in an attempt for a bigger settlement. A trial is sometimes necessary for most personal injury situations. Accidents involving motor vehicles, medical malpractice, and trip-and-fall cases are just a few of the many that are settled out of court instead of going to trial; but, in certain situations, insurance providers don’t want to make a proper offer during the settlement negotiations and it can be a better outcome for you to go to trial. A personal injury lawyer will help you decide what your best options will be. Our friends from Philadelphia Injury Lawyers, P.C. has provided the FAQ below to help you understand settlement before your case goes to trial.

What is meant by Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement reached before a case goes to trial. Many lawsuits may be resolved before they are ever brought to court. This is a common practice – the day before, or even the day of filing of the Complaint (the initial document used to start the court process), they may be resolved. When it comes to resolving personal injury lawsuits, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Rather than going to trial, the parties involved in a dispute will usually settle out of court. If a settlement is agreed upon, both parties will sign a formal settlement agreement that includes a release of responsibility after they have reached a reasonable compromise.

What is meant by Trial?

People who have been injured in an accident present their arguments to a judge or jury, who will decide whether or not the defendant should be held accountable for their losses. A personal injury trial might run from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the circumstances. Attorneys must spend a great deal of time and effort even if their trials are short.

Benefits of Settlement

You know exactly how much money you’ll be receiving at the end of the day. The result is in the hands of the persons involved, not a third party (i.e., judge and jury). If your matter goes to trial, it will take a much longer time to settle.

You could expect to get your settlement money anywhere from within a week up to a month after settling with the opposing party. By avoiding a trial, one saves a lot of money on legal bills and other expenses.
It is less stressful to reach a settlement than it is to go to trial.
Settlements tend to be private affairs.

Benefits of Trial

In some cases, jury judgments might be much higher than the money given in settlement discussions.
Trials are open to the public, so if the jury rules in your favor, the defendant will be held responsible.
Giving the harmed person a stronger form of completion.

Drawbacks of Settlement

Settlement money may be less than what a jury of your peers would award you for your losses.
In most cases, the defendant refuses to confess any guilt, and therefore offer a lower settlement, if anything at all.

Drawbacks of Trial

Trials take a lot of time and effort from you and your attorney(s).
Even if you win a significant settlement, a larger portion of it will be spent on legal costs and expenditures linked to your trial.

The expertise of a personal injury lawyer who has handled a wide range of cases, from vehicle accidents to medical negligence will benefit you and your case. A personal injury attorney will be able to discuss your options with you and help you decide whether you should try to take your case to trial, or work towards a settlement with the insurance company.