THE BARIC BLOG

Settlement vs. Trial: What’s the Best Option for Your Personal Injury Case?

When you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it can be a challenging and confusing time. Between medical appointments and dealing with insurance companies, you may also be considering legal action. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the two main options for resolving personal injury cases – settlements and trials. This will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific situation and needs.

What is a Settlement?

A settlement in a personal injury case is an agreement between the injured party (the plaintiff) and the party responsible for the injury (the defendant). The defendant, or their insurance company, offers a sum of money, and in return, the plaintiff agrees to drop the case and not pursue any further legal action related to the injury.

Settlements are the most common outcome in personal injury cases. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, about 95% of pending personal injury cases end in a pre-trial settlement. This is because settlements offer a guaranteed outcome, have lower legal costs, and resolve much quicker than trials. However, they also might involve compromise on the compensation amount.

What Happens in a Trial?

Trials are the path chosen when a settlement cannot be reached. They involve presenting the case before a judge or a jury, who then decide whether the defendant is legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and, if so, how much compensation the plaintiff should receive.

Trials can result in higher compensation than settlements, especially in cases where the defendant’s negligence is clear, and the injuries are severe. However, trials are also more time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. Furthermore, the outcome of a trial is uncertain until the very end, and there is always a risk that the plaintiff might end up with nothing.

Choosing Between Settlement and Trial

The choice between settlement and trial in a personal injury case is a complex one and depends on numerous factors. These include the strength of your case, the extent of your injuries, the clarity of fault, the defendant’s willingness to offer a fair settlement, and your personal comfort with risk and patience for a potentially lengthy legal process.

It is crucial to understand that no one can predict the exact outcome of a trial or the exact amount a settlement could be. Therefore, you should always seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer before making this critical decision.

Factors Favoring Settlement

  1. Certainty of Outcome: Settlements offer a guaranteed amount of compensation. Trials, on the other hand, are uncertain – you could receive a higher award, the same amount, or nothing at all.
  2. Speedy Resolution: Settlements are usually quicker to resolve than trials. If you need financial assistance soon, a settlement might be more beneficial.
  3. Privacy: Settlement agreements are private documents, and the terms of your settlement will typically remain confidential. Trials are public proceedings, and details of your case will be publicly available.
  4. Lower Legal Costs: Settlements usually involve fewer legal costs than trials. If you proceed to trial, you could incur additional court fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses.

Factors Favoring Trial

  1. Potential for Higher Compensation: If your case is strong and the defendant’s fault is clear, you could receive a higher compensation award from a trial than you might receive in a settlement.
  2. Public Accountability: If the party responsible for your injuries is particularly negligent or reckless, you might prefer a trial to hold them publicly accountable.
  3. Satisfaction: Some plaintiffs choose to go to trial because they find it more satisfying to have their day in court, regardless of the outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the legal process can be tricky, particularly when it comes to specific regulations in Southern California. Here are answers to seven of the most frequently asked questions:

Absolutely, if you don’t accept the settlement offer, you can take the case to trial. However, it’s crucial to understand the risks and rewards involved.

Not necessarily. While trials can potentially result in higher compensation, they also involve more risks, and there’s a chance you could end up with less or even no compensation.

If you reject a settlement offer and then lose in trial, you typically don’t get a second chance to accept the settlement. You might end up with no compensation.

The length of a trial can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case. It could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or even months.

Once you accept a settlement, you will typically sign an agreement stating that you will not pursue any further legal action related to your injury against the defendant. In return, you receive the agreed-upon compensation.

Yes, if you lose in trial, you can usually appeal the decision. However, appeals can be complicated and require strong grounds to be successful.

The answer depends on the specifics of your case and your personal preferences. It’s essential to discuss this with your personal injury lawyer to make an informed decision.

References

  1. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice: www.bjs.gov
  2. “Settling Legal Disputes”, American Bar Association: www.americanbar.org
  3. National Center for State Courts: www.ncsc.org
  4. “Understanding the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process”, Nolo: www.nolo.com
  5. “Settling Your Personal Injury Case”, FindLaw: www.findlaw.com

Final Thoughts

When faced with a personal injury case, it’s essential to understand the differences between settling and going to trial, as well as the pros and cons associated with each. Keep in mind that every case is unique, so what worked for someone else might not necessarily be the best option for you.

At Baric Law, we’re here to help. As a former prosecutor and one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, Steve Baric has the experience and skills necessary to guide you through this complex process. Contact us at (833) 467-2022 or email sbaric@bariclaw.com to schedule your free 30-minute case evaluation.

NEED HELP?

Our team is here to assist you. Give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your case in a no-obligation consultation.

Kathleen Monroe
Kathleen Monroe
2023-10-26
All attorneys are not created equal. Steve Baric is in a class by himself. I would give him 10 STARS but it only went up to 5. I had hired the wrong attorney who did ZERO and Steve jumped in and became my HERO! Losing your quality of life & pain & suffering are real. Insurance companies try to minimize your injuries and damages in spite of their insured's negligence. When Steve earnestly told me he would FIGHT FOR ME...I knew I had finally found the right attorney. He is super smart, strategic, compassionate to his client's pain and suffering & most of all he is laser focused on results. He thinks outside the box. I have so much gratitude for Steve Baric. If you are looking for a PI Attorney...forget the rest...Steve Baric is the BEST!
Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon
2023-08-10
Great law firm with an experienced trial attorney not afraid to go to trial.
Ford Prepon
Ford Prepon
2023-08-09
Mr. Baric is a very professional attorney. He has led me step by step in what to do, and what to expect in my case. He communicates often, and his team is wonderful, answers all my questions any time I call. I feel very lucky to have found such a caring team to represent me. Mr. Baric is a very professional attorney. He has led me step by step in what to do, and what to expect in my case. He communicates often, and his team is wonderful, answers all my questions any time I call. I feel very lucky to have found such a caring team to represent me.
Amanda Roberts
Amanda Roberts
2023-08-09
I only reached out through email and text, but there was a few times that I was rudely talked to by staff. But they did get my medical bills reduced tremendously.
Ak Subramanian
Ak Subramanian
2023-08-08
Baric Law firm is a good firm and would recommend to anybody who is looking for a good representation. I never had a hard time getting in contact with my lawyer Steve Baric. Team was always professional and respectful and kept me updated with my case they also made wellness calls to see how I was doing.
Miriam Lopez
Miriam Lopez
2023-08-03
Me and my son were involved in a car accident, and I was referred to Baric Law firm by a friend. Since my son was a minor at the time. I handled everything for him. I was very impressed with Steve Baric from the beginning to the end. Very caring and always their to answer my calls whenever I had a question. Thankfully the accident was not as bad and my son and I suffered minor injuries. They constantly followed up with my son and I, to make sure we were improving, they also helped me with my car repair. They negotiated on our behalf and got us a great settlement amount. Everyone in the office is kind and knowledgeable. My son and I were very happy with the compensation we received. Thank you.
Alex O.
Alex O.
2023-08-02
Steve Baric and his team are outstanding and meticulous in their work. From the moment you seek their legal counsel, to the very end, you know this team puts in a very good fight. The Baric’s staff are very attentive to your needs and professional about how they handle your case. I highly recommend them and stop thanking them for their help.
Nichole Calandrella
Nichole Calandrella
2023-08-01
Steve Baric and Baric Law are the best of the best. Highly knowledgeable about a range of legal issues, and the impressive ability to communicate and act on that knowledge. Steve is able to tackle your case quickly, and with his experience, you feel comfortable and in capable hands. I highly recommend Baric Law.
Patricia Welch-Foster
Patricia Welch-Foster
2023-07-29
Knowledgeable and hard working firm to ensure the best outcome for their clients

THE BARIC BLOG

Settlement vs. Trial: What’s the Best Option for Your Personal Injury Case?

When you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it can be a challenging and confusing time. Between medical appointments and dealing with insurance companies, you may also be considering legal action. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the two main options for resolving personal injury cases – settlements and trials. This will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific situation and needs.

Settlement vs. Trial: What’s the Best Option for Your Personal Injury Case?

When you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it can be a challenging and confusing time. Between medical appointments and dealing with insurance companies, you may also be considering legal action. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the two main options for resolving personal injury cases – settlements and trials. This will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your specific situation and needs.

What is a Settlement?

A settlement in a personal injury case is an agreement between the injured party (the plaintiff) and the party responsible for the injury (the defendant). The defendant, or their insurance company, offers a sum of money, and in return, the plaintiff agrees to drop the case and not pursue any further legal action related to the injury.

Settlements are the most common outcome in personal injury cases. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, about 95% of pending personal injury cases end in a pre-trial settlement. This is because settlements offer a guaranteed outcome, have lower legal costs, and resolve much quicker than trials. However, they also might involve compromise on the compensation amount.

What Happens in a Trial?

Trials are the path chosen when a settlement cannot be reached. They involve presenting the case before a judge or a jury, who then decide whether the defendant is legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and, if so, how much compensation the plaintiff should receive.

Trials can result in higher compensation than settlements, especially in cases where the defendant’s negligence is clear, and the injuries are severe. However, trials are also more time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. Furthermore, the outcome of a trial is uncertain until the very end, and there is always a risk that the plaintiff might end up with nothing.

Choosing Between Settlement and Trial

The choice between settlement and trial in a personal injury case is a complex one and depends on numerous factors. These include the strength of your case, the extent of your injuries, the clarity of fault, the defendant’s willingness to offer a fair settlement, and your personal comfort with risk and patience for a potentially lengthy legal process.

It is crucial to understand that no one can predict the exact outcome of a trial or the exact amount a settlement could be. Therefore, you should always seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer before making this critical decision.

Factors Favoring Settlement

  1. Certainty of Outcome: Settlements offer a guaranteed amount of compensation. Trials, on the other hand, are uncertain – you could receive a higher award, the same amount, or nothing at all.
  2. Speedy Resolution: Settlements are usually quicker to resolve than trials. If you need financial assistance soon, a settlement might be more beneficial.
  3. Privacy: Settlement agreements are private documents, and the terms of your settlement will typically remain confidential. Trials are public proceedings, and details of your case will be publicly available.
  4. Lower Legal Costs: Settlements usually involve fewer legal costs than trials. If you proceed to trial, you could incur additional court fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses.

Factors Favoring Trial

  1. Potential for Higher Compensation: If your case is strong and the defendant’s fault is clear, you could receive a higher compensation award from a trial than you might receive in a settlement.
  2. Public Accountability: If the party responsible for your injuries is particularly negligent or reckless, you might prefer a trial to hold them publicly accountable.
  3. Satisfaction: Some plaintiffs choose to go to trial because they find it more satisfying to have their day in court, regardless of the outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the legal process can be tricky, particularly when it comes to specific regulations in Southern California. Here are answers to seven of the most frequently asked questions:

Absolutely, if you don’t accept the settlement offer, you can take the case to trial. However, it’s crucial to understand the risks and rewards involved.

Not necessarily. While trials can potentially result in higher compensation, they also involve more risks, and there’s a chance you could end up with less or even no compensation.

If you reject a settlement offer and then lose in trial, you typically don’t get a second chance to accept the settlement. You might end up with no compensation.

The length of a trial can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case. It could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks or even months.

Once you accept a settlement, you will typically sign an agreement stating that you will not pursue any further legal action related to your injury against the defendant. In return, you receive the agreed-upon compensation.

Yes, if you lose in trial, you can usually appeal the decision. However, appeals can be complicated and require strong grounds to be successful.

The answer depends on the specifics of your case and your personal preferences. It’s essential to discuss this with your personal injury lawyer to make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

When faced with a personal injury case, it’s essential to understand the differences between settling and going to trial, as well as the pros and cons associated with each. Keep in mind that every case is unique, so what worked for someone else might not necessarily be the best option for you.

At Baric Law, we’re here to help. As a former prosecutor and one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, Steve Baric has the experience and skills necessary to guide you through this complex process. Contact us at (833) 467-2022 or email sbaric@bariclaw.com to schedule your free 30-minute case evaluation.

References

  1. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice: www.bjs.gov
  2. “Settling Legal Disputes”, American Bar Association: www.americanbar.org
  3. National Center for State Courts: www.ncsc.org
  4. “Understanding the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process”, Nolo: www.nolo.com
  5. “Settling Your Personal Injury Case”, FindLaw: www.findlaw.com

NEED HELP?

Our team is here to assist you. Give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your case in a no-obligation consultation.

Kathleen Monroe
Kathleen Monroe
2023-10-26
All attorneys are not created equal. Steve Baric is in a class by himself. I would give him 10 STARS but it only went up to 5. I had hired the wrong attorney who did ZERO and Steve jumped in and became my HERO! Losing your quality of life & pain & suffering are real. Insurance companies try to minimize your injuries and damages in spite of their insured's negligence. When Steve earnestly told me he would FIGHT FOR ME...I knew I had finally found the right attorney. He is super smart, strategic, compassionate to his client's pain and suffering & most of all he is laser focused on results. He thinks outside the box. I have so much gratitude for Steve Baric. If you are looking for a PI Attorney...forget the rest...Steve Baric is the BEST!
Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon
2023-08-10
Great law firm with an experienced trial attorney not afraid to go to trial.
Ford Prepon
Ford Prepon
2023-08-09
Mr. Baric is a very professional attorney. He has led me step by step in what to do, and what to expect in my case. He communicates often, and his team is wonderful, answers all my questions any time I call. I feel very lucky to have found such a caring team to represent me. Mr. Baric is a very professional attorney. He has led me step by step in what to do, and what to expect in my case. He communicates often, and his team is wonderful, answers all my questions any time I call. I feel very lucky to have found such a caring team to represent me.
Amanda Roberts
Amanda Roberts
2023-08-09
I only reached out through email and text, but there was a few times that I was rudely talked to by staff. But they did get my medical bills reduced tremendously.
Ak Subramanian
Ak Subramanian
2023-08-08
Baric Law firm is a good firm and would recommend to anybody who is looking for a good representation. I never had a hard time getting in contact with my lawyer Steve Baric. Team was always professional and respectful and kept me updated with my case they also made wellness calls to see how I was doing.
Miriam Lopez
Miriam Lopez
2023-08-03
Me and my son were involved in a car accident, and I was referred to Baric Law firm by a friend. Since my son was a minor at the time. I handled everything for him. I was very impressed with Steve Baric from the beginning to the end. Very caring and always their to answer my calls whenever I had a question. Thankfully the accident was not as bad and my son and I suffered minor injuries. They constantly followed up with my son and I, to make sure we were improving, they also helped me with my car repair. They negotiated on our behalf and got us a great settlement amount. Everyone in the office is kind and knowledgeable. My son and I were very happy with the compensation we received. Thank you.
Alex O.
Alex O.
2023-08-02
Steve Baric and his team are outstanding and meticulous in their work. From the moment you seek their legal counsel, to the very end, you know this team puts in a very good fight. The Baric’s staff are very attentive to your needs and professional about how they handle your case. I highly recommend them and stop thanking them for their help.
Nichole Calandrella
Nichole Calandrella
2023-08-01
Steve Baric and Baric Law are the best of the best. Highly knowledgeable about a range of legal issues, and the impressive ability to communicate and act on that knowledge. Steve is able to tackle your case quickly, and with his experience, you feel comfortable and in capable hands. I highly recommend Baric Law.
Patricia Welch-Foster
Patricia Welch-Foster
2023-07-29
Knowledgeable and hard working firm to ensure the best outcome for their clients

“AS DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF ORANGE COUNTY, I COUNTED ON STEVE TO TRY THE TOUGHEST CASES WITH THE HIGHEST STAKES. HE NEVER MET A CASE HE COULDN'T HANDLE.”

~ Tony Rackauckas
Orange County District Attorney (Retired)

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