The Choice Is Yours: Settle Your Case Or Go To Trial?
Most personal injuries cases don’t ever get to trial. A lawsuit may be filed, and your case may be in court, but that doesn’t mean that you will ever actually have your case heard before a jury, with witnesses, and testimony.
That’s because many personal injury cases settle, before they ever get to trial. If you settle your case, it’s over—you won’t ever get to a trial. But if you don’t, your case will proceed to trial, and the jury will determine what, if any, compensation you get for your injuries.
How Settlements Happen
At some point, in most cases, before trial, the Defendant or the insurance company will offer you compensation, to try to settle your case before trial. You will have to make the decision to make the settlement, and thus end your case for that dollar amount, or to reject the offer, and move forward, potentially all the way to a trial.
Settling isn’t inherently a bad thing, and the decision whether you should settle or not is an individual one, based on your particular case, the case facts, and your circumstances. There is no one guide or rules to follow when deciding to settle your case, but there are some things to think about.
How Much is at Stake?
Of course, the main thing to consider is how much the Defendant or insurance company is offering to you, to settle your case. That is the compensation that is at risk, if you reject the offer and move forward to trial.
If the offer is very low, doesn’t cover your medical expenses or lost wages, or doesn’t compensate you a fair amount for what you are suffering, you may want to reject the offer. But for settlement offers that are “average,” that is, enough to make them palatable but not enough to fully compensate you, you may have a decision to make.
Risks at Trial
Trials are inherently risky. Bad cases get large jury verdicts and great cases lose. Certainly, your facts, and knowing what other juries do with similar cases, may guide you, but anytime you reject a settlement offer to go to trial, you are risking losing the settlement.
The jury could give you way more than what the Defendant offered—but it could also give you way less, or nothing. No attorney can tell you that he or she knows with 100% certainty what a jury will do in a trial.
One thing to ask yourself is, if you rejected the offer and got less, or nothing, in trial, how would you feel? Would it have been worth the risk? Or would you really feel that you have lost something significant? If it is the latter, you may want to make your best effort to try to settle the case.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for guidance every step of the way in your personal injury case.