If you file a personal injury claim after a car accident, you have two primary methods to resolve the claim — through litigation or a settlement. Opting for litigation does not preclude you from settling the claim, as you can reach a settlement with the defendant at any point after filing the lawsuit. In general, however, these processes are quite different from one another and can lead to some very different outcomes.
- Plaintiff: From the plaintiff’s perspective, you can generally get the most money out of a jury verdict. The downside of aiming for a jury verdict, however, is that it can take longer and require more upfront expense with regard to legal fees. The resulting award, however, is often much larger than a settlement.
- Defendant: From the defendant’s perspective, it is always ideal to settle. If the jury finds the defendant to be liable, he or she will be responsible for paying much more than in a settlement.
The vast majority of auto accident cases settle, as the stress of a jury trial is not usually worthwhile for plaintiffs and defendants will almost always benefit more from settling out of court than by hoping for a jury to side in their favor.
Ultimately, both sides maintain much more control by attempting to reach a settlement than they do by leaving their fate up to a jury. It is up to each party’s legal team to determine whether the potential benefit of a jury trial outweighs the risk.
To learn more about how settlements and jury verdicts differ, meet with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh