Victims of personal injury are likely to have many questions running through their minds after an accident, such as how they can secure the maximum possible compensation for their trouble. Fair compensation can lead to a sense of justice and improved quality of life. After their injury, they may wonder whether they should accept a settlement or if their lawyer should take their case to trial. This article will address the pros and cons of both settlements and trials in a personal injury claim.
Settling Outside of Court
Settling outside of court is the most common avenue for personal injury lawsuits. It avoids the trial process completely. Settling can be done at any time during a lawsuit, even on the day of a trial.
Benefits of Settlements
- One of the most obvious benefits is that settlements take less time than going to trial. On average settlements take 3 to 6 months to finalize whereas trials often take twice as long.
- With settlements, you have control over the outcome. You can accept or deny any settlement offer you receive. Trials, on the other hand, are dependent on what the judge and jury decide.
- Trials can be stressful. Accepting a settlement offer may help you avoid the pressure and uncertainty of going to trial.
Cons of Settling
- Settlements are permanent. Once a settlement offer is accepted, there is no room for renegotiation.
- The settlement may be for less money than what you would have won if the case had gone to trial.
- With a settlement, you may not feel a sense of justice, because the defendant does not have to admit any guilt for their wrongdoings.
For these reasons, if an insurance company offers a fair settlement, it may be beneficial to take it. However, you may be missing out on receiving fair compensation and a sense of resolution.
Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial
In a trial, you can bring your personal injury case in front of a judge or jury. Here, both sides can argue on their behalf. The judge or jury has the final ruling over whether or not the defendant is responsible for the damages. Going to trial, like settlements, has its pros and cons. Trials often come with more risk and more reward.
Benefits of Going to Trial
- Winning a trial leads to a resolute ending where you can argue your case in front of others and feel a sense of justice.
- Outside of your case being heard by others, going to trial and being seen in front of a jury has financial benefits. Trials have the potential to award more compensation to the plaintiff—such as extra money for pain and suffering.
- Your personal injury lawyer can fight for you to receive more compensation. By presenting evidence and making strong arguments, they can persuade the jury to award you more money for your injury.
Disadvantages of Going to Trial
- Trials take much longer than settlements. They can feel long, drawn-out, and stressful when you’re waiting to get answers.
- If you are having to pay for your own legal expenses, going to trial can be costly.
- Trials come with the risk of losing. It’s possible to come out of a trial with no money awarded. Settlements, on the hand, have clear terms and nothing is left to chance.
That’s why it’s very important to hire a personal injury lawyer with trial experience, such as Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, to help make your decision easier. They will use their knowledge to determine if your claim is best seen in front of a jury.
Every injury case is different. However, one of the considerations in finding a personal injury attorney should be the willingness to go to trial if necessary to ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation for your injury.