Personal Injury: How to Decide Whether to Settle or Proceed to Trial

At one point or another, there is a settlement offer made in every type of personal injury case. These offers are a sigh of relief for many as some injured parties have the intention to seek monetary compensation but avoid trial at all costs. Others view settlement offers as the first step in a very long process of negotiation. Yet the remainder view settlement offers as an attempt to pay the lowest amount possible. Regardless of your viewpoint on settlements, they can be an important step in a personal injury lawsuit. If you or someone you know has been injured and you have received a settlement offer or are just beginning to negotiate claims, you should speak with an experienced settlement negotiator at Colombo Law.

Considerations Before Making a Settlement Decision

The ultimate decision as to whether or not you should proceed to trial rests with the plaintiff alone. Although one of our personal injury attorneys can advise you of whether or not a fair deal is being made, we cannot require you to accept a settlement offer. Before accepting a settlement offer, you must give proper thought and consideration to your case. There are many factors that need to be considered, including:

  • The amount of the offer. This is often the biggest factor when determining whether to settle a case. Generally, a settlement offer will be less than the amount of recovery if you take your claim to trial. A fair settlement should not be accepted unless all of the involved parties agree to an amount of monetary compensation that is fair. Sometimes it does take some negotiating to get to what all parties agree is a fair amount. In most cases, defendants are interested in spending money for personal injury attorneys want to obtain the highest relief available. It is beneficial to have one of the attorneys at Colombo Law represent you because we will advise you on the ideal range of recovery when settling your matter.
  • Strength of your case. The strength of your case is another major factor to consider. For instance, if your case has a 50-50 chance of recovery, you should weigh your options, including settlement offers, before deciding to proceed to trial. A case may not be strong due to the lack of evidence, the lack of documented injuries, or due to other circumstances. An injured party does not have a strong case may find it beneficial to take a settlement offer rather than rolling the dice by proceeding to trial.
  • Length of time a trial takes. Another consideration is to determine how quickly you want to obtain relief. One benefit of settling the case, proceeding to trial, if you will be able to obtain monetary faster than you would if the case went to trial. A trial could take between three and five years.

Contact an Attorney Today

It is impossible to tell you all of the considerations without knowing the facts and circumstances of your case. However an attorney is invaluable when considering a settlement offer. Keep in mind, once a settlement offer is signed you waive your rights to any further action against the wrongdoer. That is why it is important to in have an attorney on your side that will help you obtain maximum relief possible. The attorneys at Colombo Law can help you do that. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

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by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on