Settle v. Go to Trial: Which is the Best Option for Me?

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Settle v. Go to Trial: Which is the Best Option for Me?

December 05, 2023
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

When faced with a personal injury case, a pressing question often emerges: should you settle your case or take it to trial? This decision can be overwhelming, especially when you’re grappling with medical bills, lost wages, and the emotional toll of an accident. As experienced attorneys at Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, we understand the intricacies involved in making this decision. Call for a consultation where we can help you consider both options to make an informed choice regarding your injury case.

The Settlement Option: Swift and Certain

Settlements are formal resolutions that can be reached at any stage of the litigation process. From the onset of your case to the day of your trial, settlements remain an option. The benefits of choosing to settle your personal injury case include:

  • Speed and Efficiency: Settlements often result in a faster resolution. Unlike trials, which can stretch over years, settlements can conclude within months.
  • Known Outcome: With settlements, there’s certainty of compensation for your injuries, while trials come with no such guarantee.
  • Control Over the Process: In a settlement, you maintain the power to negotiate and reject offers. A trial, on the other hand, leaves the final decision to the judge or jury.
  • Confidentiality and Closure: Settlements can include a confidentiality clause and typically provide a sense of finality, preventing further litigation.

However, settlements aren’t without their drawbacks. They may yield less financial compensation compared to trials, and once agreed upon, they’re permanent. If your injuries worsen over time, seeking additional compensation isn’t an option.

The Trial Route: Potential for Greater Compensation

During a trial, you will present your case before a judge and jury. The process involves laying out all the evidence at hand. This includes compelling testimonies from witnesses, revealing medical records, and any other documentation that is relevant to the case. Your attorney puts forth a strong argument, spotlighting the negligence or fault of the responsible party and the ensuing damages suffered by the victim. Taking your case to trial can offer several benefits:

  • Possibility of Increased Compensation: A jury might award higher compensation for emotional distress than what’s typically offered in settlements.
  • Public Accountability: Trials are public records. Winning your case not only secures compensation but also holds the other party publicly accountable.
  • Sense of Justice: A favorable verdict can bring a profound sense of justice and closure for an injured person.

Despite these benefits, trials come with their set of disadvantages. They can be lengthy, costly, and emotionally draining. The outcome is uncertain, and unlike settlements, you lose control over the final decision. Additionally, the public nature of trials might lead to a loss of privacy.

Making the Right Choice: Settle or Go to Trial?

Deciding between settling and going to trial isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer—it depends on the specifics of your case. Factors such as the strength of your evidence, the complexity of the case, and potential legal consequences should all be considered.

At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, we believe in client-focused representation. We’ll guide you through the pros and cons of each option, and together, we’ll determine the best course of action based on your unique circumstances. Whether that means negotiating a settlement or advocating for you in court, we’re prepared to pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a consultation today.










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