Settlement vs. Going To Trial: Factors To Consider In A Personal Injury Case

Aug 20, 2023 | Personal Injury

When confronted with personal injury cases, the decision between going to court or reaching a settlement can be complex. Each option has its own merits and drawbacks that warrant careful consideration. Opting for a trial can be expensive and time-consuming, but it also presents the possibility of receiving a larger settlement amount. Alternatively, reaching a settlement may offer a quicker resolution with more certainty; however, it might not result in obtaining full compensation for your injuries. It is crucial to thoroughly assess the pros and cons of each alternative before arriving at a final determination.

When choosing between settling or going through with a trial, it is crucial to carefully consider both options’ advantages and disadvantages. By dedicating sufficient time towards making an informed decision, your chances of achieving success increase significantly while ensuring you receive appropriate compensation for your troubles.

Advantages of Going to Trial 

  1. Possibility of Higher Compensation: Winning your case in court may result in a more substantial payout compared to accepting a settlement offer. A jury could award damages that exceed what the defendant was initially willing to pay. 
  2. Upholding Principles: Opting for trial allows you to fight for what you believe is fair and just. Having your day in court gives you the opportunity to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. 
  3. Discovery Process: Going through with a trial involves a discovery process where both sides can collect evidence and information relevant to the case at hand. This process often uncovers critical details that could significantly influence the outcome.

Disadvantages of Going to Trial:

  1. Time and Money: Pursuing a trial can consume a significant amount of time and money. The process may stretch over several months, or even years, while the expenses associated with litigation escalate rapidly. 
  2. Uncertainty: There is no assurance that your case will be successful in court. Trials are inherently unpredictable, with the final verdict resting solely on the jury’s discretion. 
  3. Possibility of Appeals: In the event that you do not achieve a favorable outcome during the trial, you might have the option to appeal the decision. This prolongs the process of reaching a resolution and adds to litigation’s financial burden. 

Advantages of Settlement 

Resolving a personal injury without a trial can be advantageous for several reasons: 

  1. Expedite the Process: The potential for a quicker and less burdensome process compared to going through a trial. Trials can drag on for months or even years, leading to emotional stress due to the uncertainty surrounding court decisions.
  2. Less Risky: Another benefit lies in the increased certainty regarding the compensation amount. Opting for a trial always carries the risk of an unfavorable outcome or receiving lower compensation than anticipated. Conversely, settling ensures a specific and definite sum of compensation.
  3. Less Expensive: Choosing settlement can result in cost savings with regards to legal expenses. Trials involve various expenditures such as court fees, charges from expert witnesses, and attorney fees that can rapidly accumulate. Settling provides a more financially efficient alternative.

Disadvantages of Settlement

  1. Lower Payout: The compensation you receive through a settlement may be lower compared to what you could potentially obtain if the case went to trial and resulted in a favorable outcome. The opposing party might propose a reduced settlement amount in order to avoid going through with a trial, which can be quite frustrating.

  2. Limited Rights: Another disadvantage is that settling means giving up your right to pursue any further legal action against the other party involved. Once both parties agree on and accept a settlement, you forfeit any opportunity to seek additional compensation for injuries related to the same incident.

  3. No Going Back: It’s also important to note that settling a personal injury claim can have an impact on your ability to receive compensation in the future. If you settle for an amount that is lower than what your injuries truly warrant, you may not have the option of seeking additional compensation later on if your injuries worsen or require further medical treatment.

To make an informed choice regarding whether or not to settle your personal injury lawsuit, seeking guidance from an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge handling personal injury cases, is highly advisable. These professionals possess a thorough understanding of both options’ possible outcomes and can offer valuable advice on determining which course of action would be most beneficial given your specific circumstances.

Personal Injury Negotiation

Negotiation is a critical aspect of personal injury cases. It can occur at any point in the process, from the initial offer to the final settlement, and is often the deciding factor in whether or not a case is settled, or whether it is necessary to proceed to trial.

Negotiations can take place between the two parties or their respective attorneys. The goal of negotiation is to reach a settlement that is satisfactory to both parties without going to trial.

Negotiation Strategies For Personal Injury Cases

Negotiation can be complex and challenging, particularly for those unfamiliar with legal proceedings. The following strategies can help you negotiate your personal injury case effectively:

  • Know your case thoroughly and understand its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Determine your settlement goals and be realistic about your expectations.
  • Be prepared to listen to the other party’s perspective and understand their position.
  • Be willing to compromise, but do not settle for less than what is fair and just.
  • Hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can negotiate on your behalf.

By employing these strategies, you can negotiate a settlement that is in your best interest and avoid the time and expense of going to trial.

Settlement Or Trial? Factors To Consider When Making Your Decision

When faced with the decision of settling or going to trial for a personal injury lawsuit, there are several important factors that need to be taken into account. Both options have their pros and cons, and the choice you make will depend on your specific circumstances and objectives.

  • Consider the nature of your case before deciding which path to take. In cases where liability is clear and the case is straightforward, a settlement may be a good idea, but if your case is complex and contentious, you might need to go to trial to ensure a fair outcome.
  • Consider the compensation offered by the other party or insurance company. It may be best to settle if the settlement offer sufficiently meets your needs and addresses your losses. If the offer is inadequate, a trial may be necessary.
  • Consider your priorities about what matters most. If you need immediate funds to pay medical expenses or other financial obligations, a settlement can provide much-needed relief. However, if justice and accountability are important priorities for you personally, pursuing a trial may be a better approach.

Ultimately, deciding whether to settle or go to trial in a personal injury case requires careful evaluation of various factors unique to your situation. Seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney can help you thoroughly assess these choices so that you can make an informed decision about how to best proceed with your case.

Contact The Law Offices Of Ted Machi and Associates For Your Personal Injury Needs

If you are in a situation where you need a personal injury attorney to represent you in a personal injury case, negotiate a settlement, or take your case to trial, reach out to our Law Offices of Ted Machi and Associates to schedule your free consultation and learn more about your options.

Ted Machi & Associates, P.C.

Why Choose Us?

Free Consultations

Attorneys Have 20+ Years Of Legal Experience

Effective, Determined, Professional Representation

Call us

(817) 335-8880