Personal Injury Cases: Settlements vs. Going to Trial


If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may want to file a personal injury claim to recoup your losses, such as your medical expenses and lost income. One of your main questions to your lawyer may be if your case will go to trial or not. The answer depends on the specifics of your individual claim, but the majority of personal injury cases get settled out of the courtroom.

How a Settlement Differs from a Trial

If you want to pursue a personal injury case, you will be presented with two options: accepting a settlement from the defendant’s insurance company or you bring your case in front of a jury.

A settlement can be offered before a lawsuit is filed or during a trial. It is important to talk to your personal injury lawyer before you decide to accept a settlement offer. He or she will consider both your present and future damages to decide if the offer is fair or not.

If the insurance company is not willing to offer you a sufficient settlement, you may think about taking your case to trial. While you may receive higher compensation if the jury sides with your case, understand that trials can be quite risky. You just never know who the jury will side with.

When Personal Injury Cases Go to Court

In rare instances, personal injury cases make it to trial. For example, if the defendant’s insurance company is not willing to offer the plaintiff reasonable compensation for the damage from an accident, the plaintiff may want to go to trial. 

A personal injury case may also go to trial if both parties can’t agree on who was responsible for the accident. If the defendant’s insurance company believes the plaintiff is actually to blame for the accident, they may refuse to pay up

If both parties disagree on the value of the claim, a trial may also arise. Economic damages that have a clear monetary value, like medical bills and lost wages, are easier to obtain in a personal injury case. Damages that do not have a clear value, such as pain and suffering, however, are more difficult to establish. 


If you want to file an accident claim, you may want to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, like one from Unidos Legales.