Settling vs. Going to Trial: How to Weigh Your Options in a Personal Injury Case

Court of Justice Trial

When pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death case, one of the most critical decisions you will face is settling the matter outside of court or proceeding to trial. Both options have pros and cons, such as the risk, time to resolution, privacy, outcome predictability, and other factors. Choosing the right path requires careful consideration of your circumstances and goals. The experienced personal injury lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, helps you with every decision related to your case.  

Attorney Avery T. “Sandy” Waterman, Jr., Esq. of Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, has 40 years of award-winning service helping personal injury victims fight for the most favorable outcome for his or her unique situation. We help you understand your best legal options, considering the long-term implications of settling out of court or pursuing a resolution in trial. 

5 Pros and Cons of Settling Your Personal Injury Case 

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you have the following advantages for settling out of court: 

  1. Privacy: Court proceedings become public records when a personal injury case goes to trial. If you want to keep the details of your case private, settling your claim is your best option. 
  2. Quicker resolution: Proceeding to trial extends your personal injury case’s timeline from a few months to years. Settling is a better alternative if you need a faster resolution and want to recover compensation as soon as possible. 
  3. Predictability of the outcome: Settling your claim guarantees you receive a specified amount of damages, which is put at risk when you take your case to trial because court proceedings are quite unpredictable.

The following are three drawbacks you should consider when settling your case: 

  1. Potential for less compensation: Settling your personal injury case may mean potentially recovering less compensation than you would if you proceed to trial, though in smaller cases you still may net more because of substantial litigation cost savings. 
  2. Permanent outcome: Accepting the insurance company’s settlement offer automatically waives your right to any further compensation for your injury, even if your injuries worsen or you discover new injuries before trial.

Speak with the award-winning personal injury lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, for legal guidance regarding whether settling your case out of court is the best option for you.  

5 Pros and Cons of Taking Your Personal Injury Case to Trial 

The following are benefits to proceeding to trial with your personal injury case: 

  1. Larger award: A jury award is generally larger than the compensation an insurance company will pay. In settlement, though litigation costs will be higher taking a case to trial.
  2. Accountability: Taking your case to trial allows you to hold the liable party publicly accountable for negligence, offering a greater sense of vindication and closure.

The following are three drawbacks to proceeding to trial: 

  1. The unpredictability of the outcome: In a trial, you allow the judge and jury complete control over the outcome, so an unexpectedly low award and even losing is possible. 
  2. Lengthy legal process: Preparing for and undergoing trial is a time-consuming process, extending the timeline of your case months, a year, or beyond the initial claims process.
  3. You have the burden of proof: In personal injury cases, victims bear the burden of proving negligence, causation, and damages; so if the jury is undecided on any of these points, the “tie” goes in favor of the wrongdoes and you lose or at least get a reduced award.

Do not risk your right to compensation by handling your personal injury case on your own. At Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, we handle all aspects of your case, providing sound legal counsel for the most favorable outcome. 

Speak With The Award-Winning Personal Injury Lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC 

Personal injury cases are complex. The experienced lawyer at Waterman Law Centers, PLLC, will weigh your legal options on your behalf and guide you through the legal process so you are able to focus on recovery. Attorney Avery T. “Sandy” Waterman, Jr., Esq. was named to The Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury during 2007-2024 and was voted its “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury by his peers in Southeast Virginia in 2022; and Waterman Law Centers has been listed as a Metropolitan Tier 1 Best Law Firm for Personal Injury in U.S. News & World Report for 2021-2023.

Schedule a no-cost consultation today by calling (757) 881-9881 or filling out a contact form.