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Is a Settlement Considered a Win?

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Is a Settlement Considered a Win?

Most people will not resolve their personal injury case in court, which can come as a surprise to a victim. However, you should know what it means to settle and how to proceed with clarity and confidence if a settlement is offered in your case.

What It Means to Settle 

No matter how you come to conclude your lawsuit, this can be a stressful and frustrating event. Most victims in personal injury accidents will retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent their interests. What winning looks like can be different from one person to another, and this is why it is important to discuss the specifics of your case with your lawyer before ever getting started. 

Your lawyer can help provide further context about similar cases like this and what you might expect once you go into court. In some cases you might not even have to go into court or could be eligible to resolve your lawsuit outside of court before a judge or jury makes final determination. This is known as a settlement and while it does not happen in every case, can be a beneficial option to pursue or at least explore when you are in the midst of a suit. 

A settlement might be the most appropriate way for you to resolve your case without additional stress or the uncertainty of going through court. However, that being said, a settlement is not always considered a win by the person who opened the case. If you’re wondering if a settlement is a win, it is best to ask it to your personal injury lawyer so that you can discuss whether or not the settlement offer in question is appropriate given the scope of your concerns.

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Settlement FAQs

  • How Is a Settlement Different?

    In court you will need to present all of your evidence to a judge or jury who will evaluate the facts of the case and decide whether or not you are entitled to damages. This can very much be a subjective situation based on the judge and the specifics of your case. It is also an uncertain outcome because it can be difficult to predict or understand how the other side is preparing for the litigated case. 

    For this reason your lawyer might advise you to at least consider settlement offers, but it is also a possibility that the other side doesn't present you with a settlement offer that is considered fair. Settlement offers can occur at any point within a case and can seem tempting in the moment, particularly if it is a large lump sum. Only your lawyer, however, can tell you more about whether this makes sense for your specific situation because he or she will know the damages you have already incurred and are likely to incur for the remainder of your life. 

    Your lawyer can tell you if the settlement seems like an early option that can allow you to move on with your life and receive the funds that you need. However, if you believe that the settlement offer is very low, you might wish to hedge your bets and head into court. Research from the US Department of Justice shows that 90% to 95% of personal injury cases are settled before making it to trial, which seems like a clear answer to the question “Is a settlement a win?“

    What you consider to be a win will be influenced by the damages that you have sustained and your lawyer's insight about what is likely to happen in court. It could be possible that by going to court you could get additional damages paid or be able to move forward with your life quickly but it is also the case that things could be tied up in court for a long period of time or that the other side invests heavily in their defense strategy in trying to downplay your injuries. 

    One common strategy used in comparative fault states is for the other party to allege that you are partly or fully responsible for the accident, which can dramatically reduce or completely eliminate the damages you are entitled to. There are so many unknowns and you may simply be exhausted by all that you have already suffered because of the accident, making it more palatable to pursue a settlement. 

    The other people involved in the case on the other side might also try to convince you that your best possible result is a settlement because it’s a known outcome. This means that if you sign the paperwork, you will receive the settlement amount listed. There won’t be changes made to it or the possibility of someone refusing to pay. This means both sides have come to the table and agreed on this as a method of ending the lawsuit. This can give you some peace of mind that you won’t have to go through court or have your name dragged through the mud in a more public forum.

    The details of most settlement amounts are kept private and out of court. Usually all parties sign that they agree not to disclose the specifics of the settlement, but you can talk to your lawyer about whether or not that’s likely to apply in your case. When you receive the settlement, you waive the chance of filing another lawsuit on this same matter against the liable parties, but you also know what you’ll be getting and how. For a lot of victims, that’s peace of mind that’s powerful. 


  • What Are My Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

    Preventable and unintentional injuries are the biggest cause of personal injury lawsuits in the United States. They account for over 29 million visits to the emergency department every year and include things like workplace injuries, slip and falls, animal bites, burns, motor vehicle accident injuries, and product liability lawsuits. There are several different consequences associated with personal injury lawsuits, including things like disability, depression, medical expenses, and difficulties to maintain your job. If you've been injured because of another party's fault, such as a commercial establishment, another person or a government agency, you could be entitled to recover compensation either through a settlement or a lawsuit to assist with your financial and your non-economic losses. However, filing a lawsuit often prompts the question, “Is a settlement a win?” because the chance of filing and winning a personal injury lawsuit comes with challenges. The odds of being successful in a personal injury lawsuit depend on numerous different factors, such as the evidence you have to support your allegation of fault, how your injury happened, whether you have experienced legal counsel and the long term implications for your injury. 

    Filing a lawsuit is only the beginning of the process, and settlements can happen from the moment that you send your initial demand letter all the way through to when you are in trial. In some cases, insurance companies might try to draw out your claims process because they have more resources and familiarity in this area. If an insurance company is refusing to provide fair compensation, however, your best chance to recover damages might be through filing a personal injury lawsuit—although it is a lengthy process. 

    The benefits of going to trial with your lawsuit rather than working on a settlement can include things like suing for multiple damages related to your injuries, having multiple legal options like joining a class action or filing an individual claim, seeking compensation for being exposed to dangerous medications, or the injury is severe enough to cause permanent or temporary job loss. However, many victims still have reasonable fear about whether or not it is worthwhile to file a lawsuit in the first place. There are several different things to think about as you prepare to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

    First of all, how long do you want to spend in court? Many people recognize that they are in the right and have suffered unnecessarily at the hands of someone else. But this doesn't overcome their concerns about filing a legal claim for compensation. Going to court can be frustrating and could even require you to have to live through the accident again as you make arguments about your case. 

    It can be taxing, require you to take time away from work, and add to an unnecessary level of stress in your life that you are already dealing with from the injuries you sustained.

  • Why You Need Help for a Settlement or Traditional Suit

    In all of these circumstances, you can greatly increase your feelings about moving forward with a lawsuit by having a meeting first with an experienced lawyer and discussing possible outcomes in your case. Your lawyer can tell you more about what other situations have looked like and some of the common challenges that you might experience in this situation. It is beneficial to have a lawyer to guide you through every aspect of your legal claim so that you can proceed as confidently as possible.

    For more information on your case, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.

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Last updated on May 11, 2023

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