After a personal injury accident, you are entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party. However, how do you know whether it’s best to take a settlement offer or go to trial? An attorney is the best resource for deciding whether to settle your unique case or take it to court, but here are some things to consider.
The Pros of Settling a Lawsuit (Cons of Going to Trial)
A settlement occurs when you accept an insurance company’s offer of compensation to resolve your claim outside of court. Here are the advantages:
- Takes Less Time: Recovering compensation often takes much less time when you settle a claim, whereas taking a case to trial may take years to resolve.
- Guaranteed Award: A settlement means guaranteed money. If you are unsure if you will win in court, accepting a settlement offer may be the safer option.
- Less Stress: Preparing and going to trial can be very stressful, and accepting a settlement puts it all to an end.
- It’s Confidential: Details of a settlement can remain confidential, whereas civil cases become public record.
- Less Expensive: Settling out of court is significantly less expensive. Even when an attorney is handling your case on a contingency fee, you will be responsible for court costs, and they will usually raise their fee percentage if going to trial.
- Juries are Unpredictable: There is no way to know how a jury will decide the case. As a result, there is a risk of losing and recovering no compensation.
The Pros of Going to Trial (Cons of Settling)
Most personal injury cases settle before trial, but here are the potential pros of trying your case in court:
- Higher Award: If you suffered a severe injury or the defendant (at-fault party) exhibited gross negligence, the jury may be inclined to grant you a much higher award than the amount you’d receive in a settlement.
- Defendant is Held Accountable: If you settle the case, the defendant may not have to admit fault. Whereas, at trial, you may feel that justice has been served.
- Avoid Regret: After accepting a settlement offer, there is always a risk of regretting the unknown and wondering if you could have obtained more compensation in court.
Keep in mind that even if you do choose to take your case to trial, you still have the option of settling at any time.
Read Further: Shapiro Washburn Sharp Case Results
How to Identify a Good Settlement Offer
Once you recover from your injuries or reach maximum medical improvement, you will have a better understanding of the extent of your injuries and other losses. As a result, an attorney will be able to help you more accurately estimate your case’s worth. In general, a settlement offer is good and should be seriously considered if it is close to the assessed value.
However, if liability is a factor, meaning there is evidence that you were partially to blame for your injuries, you may need to accept an offer lower than your case’s value. Since identifying a good settlement offer can be complicated and varies in each case, it is strongly recommended to consult an experienced Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer. They can guide you through the entire claims process and ensure your case is ready for trial if necessary.