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How is a decision made regarding whether to accept a settlement or go to trial?

Settlement or trial, which is right for you?:

When I give a client my recommendation as to whether or not I think my client should accept the defendant’s last best offer or go to litigation, I take several factors into consideration that I review with my clients:

  1. How close is the last best offer to my evaluation of the claim’s value?
  2. How much will it likely cost to proceed to litigation and does the potential additional recovery justify the time and additional costs?

a) Do we need one or more of my client’s doctors to testify? If so, how much will they charge?

b) Do we need any non-medical experts (accident re-constructionist, bio-mechanist, economist, etc)

  1. How long will it take to have our day in court?
  2. If we were to litigate, would the case be arbitrated (mandatory if worth less than $50,000), or set for a jury trial?
  3. What are the risks of proceeding to litigation (juries are very conservative; what are the odds we’ll do better vs. the odds we may do worse)?

Deciding on whether to accept a settlement offer can be a very daunting task. After considering all of your options, it really comes down to what you would decide. Having the guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer will truly make all the difference in a process like this.

Make sure you retain the right law firm. Ask questions, interview each law firm you have in mind until you find one that fits your needs the most. Remember, experience is everything.