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Is It Better to Settle or Go to Trial After a Car Accident?

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If you have been in a car accident, you might be seeing what all your options are for getting some compensation to help you pay for the injuries and emotional damages you may have from the accident. Usually, people have two options when it comes to car accidents. 

You can either settle outside of court or go to trial. Deciding which one is best for you is often a difficult decision. This guide will help you begin to think about which one might be a better option for you. In either case, speaking with a local Milwaukee car accident lawyer may be the best way to decide—and to maximize the amount you get for your claim.

What Is a Settlement? 

Knowing what a settlement is can help you determine if it’s what you want and if you think it’s the best plan of action for yourself. A settlement is usually a formal resolution that is decided before your case ever goes to court. This is usually done when you, the lawyers, and the insurance company all reach a decision for a settlement. 

Some cases are even settled the day before you’re supposed to be in court or the day of. Most people will always try to avoid a court day if they can because reaching a settlement is usually much easier. Once an agreement is reached, all the parties will decide on a formal settlement and sign the documents. 

You will then receive your compensation and whatever else might have been agreed on according to the settlement paperwork. 

Going to Trial 

If a settlement cannot be reached, you will have no choice but to go to trial if you want to continue pursuing compensation. Of course, you don’t have to go to court after a car accident, but it could help you secure the money you’re due for someone else’s negligence.

A trial is when both parties will argue their sides before a judge and jury. The jury will then reach a verdict and decide who is in the wrong and who is at fault for the accident and the injuries. 

Personal injury trials usually do not exceed a few weeks. Most of the time they might even only last a few hours or days. No matter how long the actual trial lasts, though, all parties and attorneys will need to spend a large amount of time preparing for everything. 

Choosing Settlement or a Trial 

There are many pros and cons to both options:

Settlement pros:

  • Settlements are much quicker than trials. Settlements are almost always much quicker. They are also more efficient and less stressful than a trial. 
  • You have more freedom. With a settlement, you are able to negotiate more and make your own decisions. 

Settlement cons:

  • You might receive less money than a trial. Sometimes trials end in better payouts. 
  • Settlement is permanent. Once you accept, there is no going back. 

Trial pros:

  • You might receive more compensation. Trails often end in more money. 
  • A trial gives you justice. You will have a clearer sense of winning. 

Trial cons:

  • Trials are longer and more expensive. You may end up waiting longer for your payout and incurring more costs in the meantime. 
  • You could lose out on getting anything. Depending on the verdict, you could walk away with nothing. A good lawyer can help guard against this happening.

Get Ahold of a Car Accident Lawyer Now

Not sure whether to accept a settlement offer or take your car accident case to trial? Call the Law Offices of Gary S. Greenberg at 414-271-7007 to speak with a lawyer. You can also fill out the contact form below. We can help you weigh your options and decide if it’s better to go to court or accept a settlement.