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Should you settle your personal injury case or go to court?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Personal Injury

Deciding whether to settle your personal injury case or proceed to court is a consequential process that can impact the broader outcome of your claim, the amount of compensation you’re awarded for your harm and your overall well-being. 

Both options feature benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, understanding the ins and outs of both scenarios can help you make an informed choice that is right for your unique situation. 

Choosing to settle

Settlements are typically quicker than court trials. Once both parties agree on the terms of the settlement, you can receive compensation much sooner than you would if you went to trial, which can be especially helpful if you have mounting medical bills and are feeling the impact of lost wages.

Settling also results in a guaranteed outcome. You’ll know exactly how much you will receive, and you can negotiate terms that are acceptable to you. By contrast, court trials are unpredictable, can be expensive, can be stressful and outcomes can be uncertain.

With all of this said, settlements might offer less compensation compared to what you could receive if you win at trial. Insurance companies and opposing parties often try to settle for the lowest amount possible. Additionally, if you settle, the defendant will probably not admit to any wrongdoing. If you are hoping for a formal acknowledgment of fault, a settlement may not provide that satisfaction.

Going to court

If your case is strong, a court trial could result in a higher compensation amount than you might receive in a settlement scenario. A court verdict can also provide a public record of the defendant’s liability, which can be important for personal closure and public accountability. Winning a case in court can set a legal precedent that might benefit others in similar situations.

However, there is no denying that court trials are unpredictable. There is always a risk that you could lose your case and receive nothing, or receive less than what may be offered in a settlement situation. Going to trial also takes time, can be expensive and can be stressful. 

Deciding whether to settle or go to court is a deeply personal decision and should be influenced by the unique ins and outs of your situation. Seeking personalized legal guidance can help you understand the potential outcomes, and allow you to benefit from informed support as you navigate this decision-making process.