You’ve been in an accident. You find out that you can seek damages because of your injuries. Then you hire an attorney. What happens next can be a complicated maze of decisions. You may have the opportunity to take your case to trial, or the defendant could offer you a settlement. What is the best decision? The short answer to “should you go to trial or settle” really depends on the case. Since each case in unique, there is no right answer. Rather, consider the following facts about if you should go to trial or settle a personal injury lawsuit to find out what’s best for you.
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize the fact that some cases may not even have these two choices as an option. Some cases may only have one option – trial OR settlement. When you don’t have a choice you obviously take the one option that is given to you. But, when you do have two choices available to you, here is what you should know.
Whenever you go to trial, there is certainly more risk involved. Your fate is in the hands of a jury, and their decision cannot be negotiated. With a trial, you risk getting a verdict in your favor, and you also risk the award amount. On the other hand, if you decide to settle, you can negotiate the settlement amount, but it could be less than what a jury would have awarded. So, if you risk averse and would like to have more of a hope for cash, even if it is a smaller amount, settling may be right for you.
It’s no secret that court cases can take a very long time, from start to finish. When considering a trial, you should be prepared to wait months, or even years before you reach a verdict. Settlements can go faster because you are negotiating outside of the court, where dates are dependent on the judge’s busy schedule.
Remember, each situation is unique. Say that you want to settle, but are being offered a sum that you think if way too low. If this is the case, a trial might be inevitable. If you do go to trial, be sure that you have a competent attorney who can help you prepare as much as possible. After all, your testimony will be incredibly important during trial.
Remember that either situation – going to court or settling – requires an attorney to help you through the process. To learn more about how SteinLaw can help you with a settlement or with a trial, contact us today.