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Trial Vs. Settlement In Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases often present individuals with the crucial decision of whether to settle out of court or proceed to trial. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons, and understanding when to pursue each path is vital. Although your personal injury lawyer may advise you about which decision may be better for your case, the ultimate decision to settle or go to trial is yours. Today, our friends from Yearin Law Office explain factors to consider when deciding between settling out of court and going to trial in personal injury cases.

Pros And Cons Of Settling Out Of Court

Settlements are negotiated between the two parties, either on their own or with the help of a trained mediator. Some of the pros of settling out of court include:

1. Time and Cost Savings

Settling out of court generally results in a faster resolution compared to going to trial. This is beneficial for both the plaintiff and the defendant as it minimizes legal expenses, court fees, and the time-consuming nature of litigation.

2. Certainty of Outcome

When parties settle, there is a degree of control over the outcome. Both sides can negotiate and agree upon the terms, providing a level of certainty that might be absent in a trial where the verdict is determined by a judge or jury.

3. Reduced Emotional Strain

Avoiding a trial can lessen the emotional toll on the parties involved. Courtroom proceedings can be stressful, and settling out of court may offer a more amicable resolution, reducing emotional strain on both plaintiffs and defendants.

4. Privacy

Settlements are often confidential, allowing parties to keep the details of the resolution private. This can be particularly appealing for individuals who prefer to keep personal matters out of the public eye.

Some cons of settling out of court in a personal injury case include:

1. Potentially Lower Compensation

In some cases, settling out of court may result in a lower compensation amount than what could be awarded in a successful trial. Defendants may offer lower settlements to minimize their financial impact.

2. No Precedent Set

When cases are settled out of court, no legal precedent is established. This means that the specific details of the case may not contribute to the development of broader legal principles that could benefit others in similar situations.

When Going To Trial Might Be Necessary

Sometimes, a trial for a personal injury suit may be inevitable.

1. Unacceptable Settlement Offers

If the defendant’s settlement offers are consistently inadequate and fail to fairly compensate the plaintiff for their damages, going to trial may become a necessary step to pursue a more just outcome.

2. Establishing Precedent

In cases where setting legal precedent is crucial, a trial verdict can contribute to the development of legal standards and principles that may benefit others in the future.

3. Disputes over Liability

If there is a dispute over who is at fault or the extent of liability, a trial may be necessary to present evidence and allow a judge or jury to make a clear determination.

The decision to settle out of court or go to trial in a personal injury case depends on various factors. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can provide valuable guidance.