To Settle or Not to Settle: Will My Case go to Court?

A common question clients have for attorneys upon first meeting is, “Will my case go to court?” Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing until the process unfolds whether a settlement will be in your best interest or whether you should take your case in front of jury. By hiring an attorney who is knowledgeable about your particular case and what type of verdict you can expect from a jury, you can be confident you are making the right decision in accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.

How Much Risk Will You Accept?

The biggest factor in choosing whether to accept a settlement or take the case to court is how much risk a client is willing to accept. Because there is no way of knowing how a particular jury will rule, it is a gamble to take any case to trial. However, this is also true for the defense, as a jury may come back with a huge award for the plaintiff. An attorney familiar with your particular injuries, familiar with any potential problems your case may have, and able to communicate effectively to connect with a jury will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome. Even still, the best attorneys cannot guarantee they will be able to persuade a jury. Therefore a client must be willing to decide whether the settlement offer is fair or whether it is inadequate before choosing to go to trial.

Determining Fairness

This idea of “fairness” can be tough. Obviously, each person wants as much compensation for their injuries as possible, but sometimes they must be willing to accept less. This does not mean that they should be willing to accept a low ball offer or accept a settlement offer that significantly underestimates the amount of future treatment the client will need. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to determine what is “fair” for your case so you can be sure you are getting the most money possible to cover your injuries.

Being Treated with Respect

Most clients hire an attorney because they have been pushed around by the insurance company and feel their injuries are being minimized or dismissed. A fair settlement offer should be one that acknowledges your injuries, acknowledges your pain and suffering, and shows respect for you as a person. An aggressive lawyer will make sure that the insurance company shows you respect when it comes time to sit down at the negotiating table.

Determining whether to settle or go to trial is a tough decision that needs to be discussed by the attorney and the client. By hiring a lawyer that you trust and hiring one who constantly communicates with you, you can be sure that your case is in the best possible hands. This way, no matter which course you decide to take, you can be confident that you are making the best decision for you and your family.

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