Is It Preferable to Settle or Pursue Trial Proceedings?

When preparing to file a personal injury claim, you might wonder if you should settle your claim or move forward with going to trial. It is difficult to know which steps to take, which is why it is vital that you work with a lawyer throughout this process to help you every step of the way. In some instances, it may be more obvious that you should settle your case as opposed to moving forward with a trial. For example, if the insurance company you are working with is offering you a fair settlement and you and your lawyer believe that you can use this to pay for damages related to your personal injury accident, then moving forward with a trial may mean that you lose a solid opportunity in front of you. On the other hand, if the insurance company is being unreasonable or insisting that they do not owe you for the accident, your lawyer may encourage you to pursue going to trial. 

What should you look for when deciding to settle? 

When you are considering settling, there are a few things that your lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer may want you to think about. Going to trial can be daunting for most people, even with a lawyer who has trial experience. So while you want a lawyer who has litigation experience, you also want someone who is willing to settle if a good offer comes through. You may choose to settle your case if you:

  • Would prefer a quicker, speedier case. 
  • You prefer more control and would like the ability to accept or deny the offers in front of you. 
  • You would rather not have the details of the case aired out to the public. A settlement can offer you more privacy. 
  • You get a reasonable offer. If the insurance company offers you a reasonable settlement, your lawyer will likely encourage you to accept this. 

On the other hand, your lawyer may want you to consider going to trial if: 

  • You are getting a lowball offer. 
  • The insurance company is completely rejecting your claim and blames you for the accident. 
  • You want the person who caused the accident to be held accountable in a more public manner. 
  • You believe you should be getting a much higher settlement than you could possibly get if you did not pursue a trial. 

Trials are typically considered high-risk, high-reward. This means that you are at a greater risk of losing the compensation you are owed if you lose the trial. However, if you win the trial, you have the chance to get more compensation, especially for things like pain and suffering or emotional distress. 

If you are interested in learning more about the pros and cons of a settlement vs. a trial for your personal injury claim, please reach out to your local attorney’s office for more information. 

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