Is It Better to Settle or Go to Court after an Accident?

After any car accident, you may be able to receive financial compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and other accident-related expenses. Most cases are settled out of court between you and an insurance company. However, there are times when the case should, or sometimes must, go to court for a judge to resolve.

But what’s right for you? The best way to determine if you should settle outside of court or take the case in front of a judge is by hiring a personal injury lawyer. If they can obtain a fair settlement offer for you, then you should settle. In cases where your insurance company refuses to offer what you deserve, you may want to consider taking the case to trial. As with anything, there are pros and cons to both options.

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What Is a Settlement?

A case settlement is when you accept your insurance company’s offer outside of court. It can be reached at any point in your case’s litigation, and most cases are resolved before you or your attorney file a formal lawsuit.

Wooden judges gavel on wooden table, close up

Pros of Settling

Settlements are much quicker than trials. Most cases settle within six to twelve months, which can be helpful if you need the money to cover medical expenses. Overall, they’re faster, cost-efficient, and less stressful than trials.

In addition, you and your attorney are mainly in control when it comes to settlements. You have the power to accept or decline any offers your insurer gives you. You also can negotiate any offers for a better one.

Cons of Settling

Whenever you accept a settlement, there’s always a chance you could have received more in court. Your attorney can help you decide if the potential gain is worth going to court. If your injuries worsen over time, you can’t go back to your insurer and ask for more money. Once you accept an offer, you can’t negotiate for a better deal.

close up of an accountant or banker calculating insurance
close up of an accountant or banker calculating insurance

Cons of Settling

Whenever you accept a settlement, there’s always a chance you could have received more in court. Your attorney can help you decide if the potential gain is worth going to court. If your injuries worsen over time, you can’t go back to your insurer and ask for more money. Once you accept an offer, you can’t negotiate for a better deal.

What Are Personal Injury Trials?

When your case goes to trial, your attorney and the insurance company will present their case. A judge or a jury will determine whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages.

Lady Justice figure with scales highlighted

Pros of Personal Injury Trials

In a trial, you have the potential to receive more compensation than your insurer would ever offer. The verdict may include more money for pain and suffering. When it comes to compensation for noneconomic damages, insurance companies will do their best to minimize those payouts.

Winning a trial may also instill you with a sense of legal justice. If you win, a court finds the defendant guilty of the accident, but in settlements, the defendant doesn’t have to admit guilt.

Cons of Personal Injury Trials

Where settlements may take up to a year to complete, trials are often long, drawn-out processes. It’s common for personal injury cases to take more than a year to settle in court. After all the court costs and attorney fees are deducted from your settlement, you may still receive the same amount as your insurance company’s highest offer.

While you may end up with more money, there’s also a chance you can lose. Our best personal injury lawyers say taking your case to trial always comes with the risk of not winning any compensation while spending thousands of dollars on court costs and other fees.

judge using a gavel in a courtroom
judge using a gavel in a courtroom

Cons of Personal Injury Trials

Where settlements may take up to a year to complete, trials are often long, drawn-out processes. It’s common for personal injury cases to take more than a year to settle in court. After all the court costs and attorney fees are deducted from your settlement, you may still receive the same amount as your insurance company’s highest offer.

While you may end up with more money, there’s also a chance you can lose. Our best personal injury lawyers say taking your case to trial always comes with the risk of not winning any compensation while spending thousands of dollars on court costs and other fees.

Reach Out to a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been in a personal injury accident and are debating whether you should settle or take your case to court, contact The Barnes Firm‘s top personal injury lawyers. After thoroughly reviewing your case, we’ll help you make a reasonable decision on your case’s future. With over 100 years of combined experience, we have the knowledge to negotiate with your insurance company or represent you in court. Complete our contact form or call to learn more about our services.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000