Should You Settle Your Case Or Go To Trial?
In every case, there comes a time when a victim has to make some crucial decisions: Should you settle your case or take it all the way to trial? Here are some things to consider when making that decision.
How the Process Works
The first thing is to understand the process of settling a case. In most cases, the insurance company or the Defendant will make you an offer to settle your case. It may not be a good offer, or one you want, but it will be some kind of offer.
You then generally have three options: Take the offer, counteroffer, or just reject the offer with an eye towards going to trial.
The most important thing to remember is that the choice to settle or not settle is very much dependent on your individual circumstance. No article can tell you what you should do in your case. This is one the most important decisions you will make and it should be made after close consultation with your attorney.
However, there are some considerations that should be made in every case that may assist you in this decision.
Take The Offer?
The most obvious thing to consider is how much the Defendant is offering to settle your case. Is it a good offer—that is, one that compensates you fairly for your pain, suffering, lost wages or medical expenses?
If it is, you have a decision to make: Do you take the “good” offer and settle the case or do you go for what could be more money in trial? The answer will depend on your own capacity or tolerance for risk and the unknown because trials are always unknown.
Many great cases end up getting a small (or no) verdict at all and a lot of fairly weak cases end up with large jury verdicts. Certainly, an experienced lawyer can give you an idea of what you can expect, but that’s just an idea—not a guarantee.
If you absolutely need what the insurance company is offering and you couldn’t fathom losing it, it may be better to take the offer. On the other hand, if you truly feel that your expenses or what you have gone through is worth taking a little more risk, you may want to go forward and see what happens at trial.
There is also an emotional aspect to the decision making process.
Many people want to go to trial; regardless of the result, they find the opportunity to sit on a witness stand and tell the jury what happened to them to be cathartic and healing. For some people the opposite is true: They don’t want to relive what happened, and thus, having to continue a case and say what happened in open court is too traumatic. For them, accepting the Defendant’s offer may be the best option.
The Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Rosen Injury Law can help in making the important decisions in your injury case. Contact us today with your questions.