Is it Better to Settle or Go to Court in a Personal Injury Claim?

by Staff | September 20th, 2021

Most personal injury claims are settled before they proceed to trial. This is because there are often several immediate advantages to settling. For example, trials can be stressful, especially if you are still recovering from the accident that led you to file a personal injury lawsuit.

On the other hand, a plaintiff may be awarded much higher damages by a jury than by a defendant’s or their insurance company’s offer to settle the case. While there is no guarantee of this, the best strategy for maximum compensation depends on many factors related to the specific circumstances of your case.

The determining factor in whether to go to trial is usually the strength of your case and the amount you are being offered in a settlement. However, other factors may come into play. You must examine these with your attorney to determine the best course of action for your situation.

Benefits of Going to Trial

If you go to trial and a court rules in your favor, you will likely receive a higher financial reward than the settlement offer. This is because your case was noteworthy enough to be heard by a jury, who in turn are likely to award compensation with the seriousness of the matter and justice in mind.

Your case may also have broader social ramifications and may even lead to public policy changes. For example, a personal injury case against a health care provider can lead to reforms in the medical field that benefit the broader public. In this scenario, you might anticipate a higher financial reward because the jury will want to make an example of your case.

Benefits of Settling

A trial process is risky. A judge may throw out evidence, or decisions may be appealed, costing even more time and resources. In recent years in the United States, the number of cases proceeding to trial has been diminishing steadily, as both plaintiffs and defendants are finding settlements to be less risky, less expensive, and faster to resolve.

Other notable benefits of settlements are that they are private, unlike a trial, which is a matter of public record. You may not want your name permanently associated with a case publicly. Settlements are permanent, so a plaintiff doesn’t have to worry about the possibility of an appeal, while a defendant is not required to admit liability. Settlements are often in the best interests of both parties.

However, there are times when a plaintiff simply shouldn’t settle. If a personal injury is especially severe, or if a defendant’s negligence is insufferable, more than a financial amount may be at stake.

One of the most frequent reasons to go to trial despite the risks is when a defendant steadfastly offers far too little in a settlement in proportion to the damages you incurred, and there is no other chance of receiving the compensation you and your attorney know you are due.

Considering a Personal Injury Claim in San Francisco?

If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim in the San Francisco area, look no further than San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers. Our No Fee Guarantee means that you only pay if you win your case.

Because of this guarantee, proceeding with a personal injury lawsuit is no risk to you. Our legal team is available 24/7 to answer any questions regarding your case in California. We are also proud to offer multilingual representatives to ensure a language barrier does not prevent you from seeking justice.

With over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in San Francisco and the Bay Area, we know how difficult the recovery process can be and the challenges that accompany deciding to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Berg Injury Lawyers are here to help you get back on your feet. Contact us today for a free consultation without obligation. We will evaluate your claim and advise whether you have grounds to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys can also advise on whether you would be best served by settling or going to trial. With our vast experience, we are fully prepared to fight for your claim in court if it becomes necessary.