When Should a Personal Injury Lawyer Choose a Trial Over a Settlement

92% of personal injury cases settle out of court, and that’s usually a good thing. There’s always the possibility that you’ll lose a trial, and if you do you lose your ability to claim money you may desperately need.

Trial delays can also create a burden on you when they keep you from getting the money you need in a timely fashion.

Yet you always want to work with a personal injury lawyer who isn’t afraid to litigate. Sometimes, court is absolutely unavoidable.

The Defendant’s Lawyers Are Pushing the Issue

Usually the plaintiff’s lawyer isn’t the one who is going to push the case to trial. The defendant’s lawyers are usually the ones who dig in their heels.

Usually they do this because they believe they can win. As a result they refuse to offer a settlement. Or they offer a settlement that’s way too low in light of the injuries you’ve sustained and the damage that’s been done to your life.

The Plaintiff’s Lawyer Isn’t Getting a Fair Offer

Yet there are times when it is in your best interests to go to trial. If the defendant won’t come close to a fair offer and you’ve got a strong case, going to trial is the right move. In addition, coming out strong with litigation can inspire defendants to settle before the trial is finished, once they see how things are going.

In addition, sometimes the judgements awarded by the court are many times higher than the settlements created during the claims process. That just comes at the expense of a “sure thing,” since any time you step into the courtroom you are making the gamble that your lawyer might lose your case.

In short? It depends.

Every case is different. What was right for your brother-in-law’s personal injury case may not be right for yours.

One thing’s for certain: you’re in charge. We give you the benefit of our expertise and our know-how to offer you top notch legal advice. Yet you always have the final word on whether to accept a settlement after hearing our opinion of whether it is a good one in light of the facts of your case.

If you tell us to push the matter to court we’re not afraid to do so, as long as you understand what the risks and benefits are.

Many of our clients choose settlements once they’re sure they’ve gotten something that’s at least commensurate with what they might have been awarded in court. The process of getting paid from a settlement is much faster than the process of going through trial, and many accident victims prefer to get their money fast and move on with their lives.

Looking for a personal injury lawyer?

We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions about your unique situation, including whether we think the case is likely to settle or to go to trial. Call us today to set up your free consultation. We’re here to help you.

About Donald I.M. Outerbridge

Donald became the Executive Director of Merchant Law Group LLP starting in 1993, nearly 30 years ago. His experience managing law firms at various levels and in multiple provinces across Canada goes back even further to 1981.