If you or somebody you love has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, there are various ways that injury victims may receive compensation in these cases. In most personal injury claims, the victim will receive a settlement reached out-of-court with the insurance carrier or at-fault party. However, it may be necessary for the injury victims to file a lawsuit in order to recover compensation. In these cases, they may receive their compensation through a verdict after a jury trial. Here, we want to discuss the difference between a settlement and a verdict when it comes to personal injury lawsuit compensation.
Most Personal Injury Claims Are Settled Out-of-Court
The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled before a lawsuit is even filed. When a person is injured as a result of another’s conduct, even if it is unintentional, they will likely file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. When this happens, there will inevitably be a negotiation between the injured party and the insurance carrier about what a fair settlement amount should be.
When an insurance carrier realizes that their policyholder was responsible for the incident, there is a good chance they will offer a settlement to the injury victim. However, if the settlement amount they offer is low, it may be necessary for the injury victim to file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Even after a lawsuit is filed, it is still very likely that a settlement will be reached before the case reaches a jury. Personal injury lawsuits have many stages, including investigations and a discovery phase. Attorneys for both sides will continue to negotiate throughout this process in an attempt to reach a settlement agreement that both sides can agree on.
A Trial May be Necessary for These Claims
If the injury victim and the at-fault party cannot reach an agreement on a settlement amount, the personal injury case will go to trial. When this happens, a jury will hear the evidence and listen to witnesses presented by both sides. In a trial, a jury will weigh the facts of the case and make a determination as to whether or not the alleged negligent party should be held responsible and how much compensation they will owe the injury victim. The jury will render their verdict.
There are Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Trial
There are various advantages and disadvantages to taking a settlement or choosing to go to trial. An injury victim will find that an out-of-court settlement will typically resolve the issue much faster than going to trial. It can take a year or more so a personal injury trial to finally be heard in court. Additionally, taking a case to trial is going to be much costlier than settling a case out-of-court.
Any proposed settlement amount needs to be carefully examined by an injury victim and their attorney. Often, a proposed settlement is far below where the injury victims should be receiving. Taking a case to trial, or even threatening to take a case to trial, could be enough impetus on the insurance carrier to offer a much higher amount.