Settlement vs. Verdict: Which One is Better?

You have the right to sue the person who caused your injury, preferably with an attorney. Your attorney will review your case, and may explain the next steps. It might not be what you expected. You may be familiar with the expectations you might have if you’ve ever seen a legal drama film or series. These are often loud and dramatic statements that your lawyer makes to a jury.

Despite the fact that TV and movies are filled with dramatizations, most personal injury cases do not end up in court. Your personal injury lawyer will likely seek a settlement for you.

This approach can be used for many reasons, but almost all are in the client’s best interest. Most importantly, a good attorney will work as fast as possible to get you the money that you are due. Going to court is usually the last resort.

If your case goes to court, you’ll need an experienced attorney who is able to represent you. This is especially important since you are likely to seek compensation from insurance companies. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Humphrey & Ballard Law are familiar with the tricks insurance companies use to deny you what you are owed and they won’t let them intimidate you. For a no-obligation consultation, give us a call today at 404-341-0499 or email us.

Why Settlements Are Usually Preferred

There are high chances that you’ll see your bills and expenses increase if you get hurt. There are times when you may require medical treatment beyond your insurance limits. If you’re out of work for even a few weeks, it may make it difficult to manage regular expenses such as the mortgage. It is important that we pay attention to each client’s individual needs. For most clients, this means getting paid as quickly as possible.

A settlement is the fastest way to achieve this. A settlement is the resolution of a dispute prior to a final court judgment. It is a settlement in which the at-fault party (usually their insurer) agrees to pay a set amount of money in return for the case being closed. It could be a lump sum or a structured settlement. But, you will still have money in your pockets. Although most settlements are made before a lawsuit is filed, you can offer a settlement at any time prior to the judge’s decision.

A settlement will usually close your case faster and more economically than a verdict. Court filing fees, court reporters, expert witnesses fees, and other costs can increase. Due to the length of the trial and the preparation time, you might be waiting longer for a verdict than for a settlement. Due to COVID-19’s enormous court system backlog, your case may not make it to court for years.

Sometimes, however, it is worth the wait.

What Is the Point of a Case that Results in a Verdict?

Your Atlanta personal injury lawyer will most likely attempt to negotiate a fair settlement for you, as we have already mentioned. There are many circumstances that could prove that going to court in your case is the best choice.

The most common reason settlements fail to be reached is that the other party, or their insurance company, offers a very low settlement. They may try to convince you to accept the lowest offer because they know that you will be in financial trouble. Your lawyer might recommend that you decline any settlement offer and go to court, even though it may seem like a win if you are injured.

Although settlements are more efficient than court trials, waiting to hear the verdict could result in a larger win. Your lawyer will present the case to the court and argue for your rights. This is far more than the settlement you were offered. But, favorable verdicts cannot be guaranteed. After all, the jury is composed of people who probably don’t know much about personal injury law.

Do I Wait for a Verdict or Take the Settlement?

This is the general rule of thumb:

  • Settlements are often less expensive but provide faster results.
  • Verdicts are often more lucrative, but they take longer.

This does not necessarily apply in every case. You may need to have a trial to determine if compensation is necessary. For example, forcing the at-fault party to admit fault. A settlement could take several months due to all the details.

Should you accept the settlement offered or go to court? It all depends on the facts of your case. Your attorney may offer a lower settlement than you are entitled to in a complex case. They may refuse to settle for a fair settlement in a simple case. This could force your attorney to go to court.

You don’t have to decide on your best option all by yourself. Our lawyers at Humphrey & Ballard Law have the trial experience to obtain a favorable verdict and know how to negotiate with the at-fault parties. We can help you understand all options and help you decide how to proceed.

For a free consultation, give us a call at 404-341-0499 or fill out our contact form. You will not be charged unless we win your case.