How Do Personal Injury Settlements Differ From Jury Verdicts?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on September 28, 2023 and updated on October 2, 2023.

lawyer meeting to discuss settlementEven though each personal injury case is different, most are resolved through a settlement or jury verdict. While settlements and verdicts serve as conclusions to injury cases, they are not the same thing.

Our experienced law firm explains the differences between personal injury settlements and personal injury verdicts, including the pros and cons of each. While many cases settle, our lawyers are always prepared to go to court. Our focus throughout the legal process is securing full compensation for your losses.

We understand you may have concerns about the cost of hiring a lawyer, but there are no upfront fees for our services. The initial consultation is also free.

Give us a call today to find out how we may be able to help: 410-297-0271.

How Does a Settlement Work?

A settlement is a legally binding agreement between two parties involved in a dispute. Personal injury settlements are agreements between injured victims and insurance companies. In exchange for compensation, the victim gives up the right to file any future claims over the same injury.

Settlements end negotiations between the victim’s lawyer and the liable insurance company. These negotiations often begin when the victim’s lawyer sends a demand letter to the insurance company. Insurers typically reject the lawyer’s settlement demand and both sides exchange counteroffers until they reach an agreement.

Pros and Cons of Settlements

The main advantage of a settlement is there is no need for a lawsuit or a jury trial. It takes less time to settle a case than it does to pursue a courtroom verdict. This means injured victims can receive compensation more quickly.

It also costs less to settle a case than to take it to court, as there are no court costs to pay. When cases go to trial, Maryland personal injury lawyers may need to hire expert witnesses to explain aspects of the case in court. This is another expense that increases the cost of a case.

The thought of going to court can be a source of stress for injured victims. They are often unsure of what to expect and concerned about whether the jury will rule in their favor.

When you settle a case, you know you will be getting compensation. However, when a case goes to court, there is a chance the jury might not award any compensation.

Sometimes filing a lawsuit is the only way to recover full compensation for your damages. That is why you should find a lawyer with significant courtroom experience who will be ready to file a lawsuit if necessary.

What Is a Verdict?

Verdicts are decisions made by juries in court. The jury weighs the testimony and evidence presented at trial to reach its decision. In a personal injury case, the jury decides whether the other party is at fault for the accident and the resulting injuries and damages the victim suffered. The jury also decides how much compensation to award to the victim, if any.

Is a Verdict the End of a Case?

Verdicts often serve as a conclusion to a lawsuit. However, unlike settlements, verdicts can be appealed. The insurance company could file an appeal if there was an error during the trial, such as an error with instructions to the jury or the exclusion of certain pieces of evidence.

Why Do Some Cases Go to Trial?

While many cases settle, some are more likely to be resolved at trial. For example, the more compensation you are seeking, the more likely it is your case may end up at a jury trial. Despite the fact these types of cases often involve serious, life-changing injuries, insurance companies are probably going to try to deny or underpay your claim. This means the only way to recover full compensation is to go to court.

Cases are also more likely to go to trial if there is a dispute about liability. For example, the insurance company may deny liability or even try to claim the victim is at fault. This is significant in Maryland because injured victims cannot recover any compensation if they are even one percent at fault.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to Trial

There are certain advantages of going to trial compared to settling. Sometimes going to court is the only way to recover full compensation for damages. In fact, lawyers are often able to recover more compensation by going to court than they would in a settlement.

Another advantage to going to court is your lawyer gets to present the case to a jury. In a settlement, your lawyer negotiates with the insurance company. Injured victims often garner sympathy from a jury, as opposed to an insurance company.

However, going to court can be risky, as the jury might not rule in your favor. That said, it is important to remember that lawyers usually do not take cases to court unless they think they are likely to get a favorable result.

Give Us a Call For Legal Assistance After an Injury

The most important decision you make after suffering a personal injury is your choice of a lawyer. Your injuries could affect you for a long time, which means you are going to need significant compensation.

You need an experienced lawyer with a proven track record. One who is committed to securing the best result possible to help you get your life back.

Our firm has decades of experience leveling the playing field against powerful insurance companies and securing the results our clients need.

Free initial consultation. Zero upfront costs. Call 410-297-0271.