Settlement vs. Lawsuit: Which One is Right for Your Case?
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that could and should have been preventable if not for the negligence of another, you have the right to pursue a recovery of your damages by filing a personal injury claim. Personal injury cases enable you to hold the party who caused your accident and injuries liable for any damages that resulted from the incident, which commonly includes medical bills, lost work wages, and pain and suffering, among others.
While all personal injury claims are hinged on proving that the at-fault party in an accident was negligent, and that their negligence “more likely than not” caused a victim to suffer injuries, how it is resolved will vary from case to case. When resolved successfully, a personal injury case may conclude with a settlement or a verdict following the filing of a lawsuit.
At Shrager & Sachs, our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in both settlements and verdicts for injured victims and families. Because we leverage decades of combined experience, we are able to pursue the best resolution possible, no matter the course a case takes. This includes advocating aggressively on behalf of our clients during settlement negotiations or when filing a lawsuit:
- Settlement – The majority of personal injury cases filed in America are resolved through a settlement, which is an agreement made between a victim and the at-fault party outside of the courtroom. Settlements are ideal in many cases, for both plaintiffs and defendants, because they can save a considerable amount of time and expenses that come with having to go to trial. However, settlements are typically only reached when there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is at fault. If an insurance company learns through investigation that their driver ran a red light and caused an accident, for example, they would be more inclined to make a settlement rather than take a losing case to trial. In some cases, insurers and other defendants may wish to settle simply to avoid the costs of litigation, or even to avoid the risk of a jury awarding a substantial compensation award to victims. Settlements can be reached at various times during the personal injury claim process, including before and after a lawsuit has been filed.
- Lawsuit – When insurance companies or other defendants contest a victim’s case, refuse to pay, or make settlement offers that don’t amount to what victims truly deserve, a lawsuit may be the next necessary step in a personal injury case. By filing a lawsuit, victims set into motion the beginning of the trial process. While some lawsuits can result in settlements prior to the trial date, others are litigated in court. These trials enable both plaintiffs and defendants to present their sides of the story and supporting evidence to a jury, or in some cases a judge, who will then determine if the defendant is liable for the victim’s damages, as well as how much to award the victim. Lawsuits and litigation require extensive work, preparation, and resources, which is why many personal injury cases never reach the trial phase. In some cases, however, it may be necessary in order to ensure full and fair compensation is obtained.
Whether your case is best resolved through a settlement or lawsuit that necessitates a trial will depend entirely on the unique facts and circumstances involved in your accident, as well as how an insurance company or liable defendant chooses to handle your case. In the many cases we have handled over the years, our proven trial attorneys took cases to trial when insurance companies disputed fault, denied liability, or simply did not make settlement offers that our clients deserved.
View some of our notable verdicts and settlements!
The personal injury claim process is filled with moving parts, and it can be difficult to predict how any case will end up, or what will happen along the way. As such, it is crucial for victims to work with experienced attorneys who have proven success when negotiating settlements out of court and litigating at trial. This is especially true when insurance companies aim to pay as little as possible.
At Shrager & Sachs, we find that due to our reputation as tough trial lawyers, defendants and insurance companies often wish to settle cases. Still, litigation can and does happen, which is why we always prepare for trial in every case we handle. When the facts and arguments are on our side, we put our clients in a strong position to recover what they deserve.
If you would like to discuss the facts of your case personally with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney from our firm, contact us today for a free consultation.
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