Should I Settle My Personal Injury Case, or Take It to Trial?

Personal Injury SettlementsIf you were recently involved in an accident, you may be curious to know whether you should settle your personal injury case or take it to trial. This is a normal curiosity, as you may need money to pay for your emergency room and doctor bills, mechanic fees, surgeries, prescriptions, and more. Therefore, you want to ensure that you do not make the wrong choice that could negatively affect the outcome of your case or cause you to lose out on money that you are owed.

What does it mean to settle your personal injury case?

Settling your personal injury case might be the first recommended option by an insurance company, though on occasion, an attorney might say it’s your best option. Basically, settling a case involves negotiating for a fair and just award.  The settlement process consists of your lawyer sending a demand letter to the individual who harmed you. This demand letter explains that you are seeking compensation for your injuries and losses from the accident.

The amount of compensation that you are seeking will be written out in the demand letter, and there will be receipts and documents showing why this compensation amount is fair and accurate. After the defendant receives and reviews the demand letter, their attorney will look over it and decide how much compensation they should counteroffer. This part of the process could go back and forth for some time.

What does it mean to take your case to trial?

Taking your case to trial means that you and the defendant plan to argue your respective sides of the story. A judge or jury will listen to both arguments and look over the evidence and documents provided. Your attorney will be in charge of presenting these arguments and findings to the judge or jury.

The goal is for your lawyer to show that the defendant is liable for your accident and injuries, which is why they should be required to pay compensation to recover your damages. After the judge or jury feel like they have a good understanding of each party’s story, they will make a decision on who is liable and how much money should be paid.

Therefore, if you are thinking about taking your case to trial, it is crucial that you hire a lawyer who is not only prepared to represent you in court, but also has plenty of experience taking personal injury cases to trial.

The advantages of settling a Pittsburgh personal injury case

Every personal injury case comes with its own set of unique factors and details. Therefore, when it comes to deciding whether to settle or go to trial, it is important to know and be aware of the advantages of each.

Advantages of settling include:

  • You may be able to reach a resolution quicker: If you decide to settle, there is a good chance that you will reach a resolution quicker than if you were to go to trial. Of course, there may be a lot of back and forth during the settlement negotiations process, but it will likely not take anywhere near the length of time that a trial takes.
  • You may have more control over the compensation amount: When your attorney sends the demand letter, you can inform them about how much compensation you would like to seek. You will also have final say in the amount that you are willing to take when the defendant’s legal team responds and negotiations start. This may be important to you if you have a certain amount of money in mind that you believe you deserve. However, if you are unable to secure this specific amount during the settlement process, you will likely need to take the case to trial.
  • You will likely save money: Choosing to settle can save you quite a bit of money. The reason for this is because you will not need to pay as much in legal and attorney fees as you would if you were pursuing a trial. Instead, settling will be straight to the point and quicker, cutting your costs.

Advantages of going to trial with your Pittsburgh injury case

Of course, not all cases can or should settle. Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to negotiate in good faith, and the only way to get a fair shake is to take your case before a judge or jury. The advantages of going to trial can include:

  • You may receive more compensation: There is a chance that a judge or a jury may award you more money than you would receive in a settlement. It’s not a guarantee – folks are unpredictable – but it does tend to end up that way. Insurance companies use software to determine what you should get; juries and judges look at you as a person. They see the photos of your wounds and they listen to the doctors without, and they could be persuaded to award you the full amount you asked for when an insurance company will not.
  • You can ensure that the defendant is held accountable for their actions: When you take your personal injury case to trial, you can ensure that the defendant is held accountable for their negligent behavior. This is because the details of what they did to you will be made public, meaning that anyone and everyone can access your trial records and learn about the incident that occurred.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the legal process of your personal injury case, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from Carmody and Ging at your earliest convenience. Our team has the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to help you navigate every hurdle or obstacle that arises with your case, and we will keep you informed about what you should do going forward. To get started, call our office or submit our contact form today. We offer free case evaluations in our Pittsburgh office, which will help us get to know you and the details of your case. Our lawyers look forward to meeting you soon!