Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. Instead, the lawyers negotiate a settlement. There are a number of different reasons why most cases settle. In many cases, it is a combination of reasons that people are motivated to resolve their case short of trial.
Settlements Provide Certainty
When cases go to trial, you never know what a jury is going to do. They may award significantly more or significantly less than the parties asked for. Of course, in a trial, there are two lawyers arguing to the jury. One is representing an injured person and is asking for compensation. The other, however, is representing the other party, and is arguing that the injured person should not get any money, or should not get very much money for their injury.
As much as the injured person and their lawyer believe they may have a case, the jury may just decide the other lawyer has a point, which could impact their willingness to award a verdict. When a case settles, the uncertainty of trial goes away. Instead of relying on a judge or jury to come up with a fair amount of money to compensate the injured person, a negotiated settlement represents a certain resolution of the case.
Settlements Provide Finality
After a trial, the losing side may decide to file an appeal. This means that rather than being able to move on with life, both sides must wait while the appeal is addressed. Once appealed, the court may uphold the original verdict, or may return the case to the trial court, starting the process over. Of course, this decision can also be appealed to a higher court. When the attorneys negotiate a settlement, the case is final. All parties can move on with their lives.
Trials Come with Costs
Trials come with both financial costs as well as emotional costs. For example, many people find the idea of testifying before a jury to be nerve wracking, at best. Additionally, trials take time. People need to take several days to several weeks off from work to attend their trials. Their witnesses must also take time off work to come and testify. The stress that comes with the uncertainty of trial takes its own toll. A settlement provides certainty and finality, without the stress of trial.
If You Think You Have a Case
If you think you have a personal injury case, contact the lawyers at Hilton & Somer, LLC. We offer free case evaluations for people injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. We work with people injured on the job, injured in public places, and with families whose loved ones have been killed due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of other people. Call us at (703) 560-0700 to schedule your consultation today. If we think you have a case, we don’t charge you a fee unless you are awarded money, either due to a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
For More Information
What You Should Know About Personal Injury and Wrongful Death