How Are Settlements Different From a Jury Verdict in an Injury Claim?
If you have been injured because of another’s negligent or reckless behavior, pursuing a legal claim can help you recover compensation. In Wisconsin, the legal process for these types of claims may resolve in one of two ways – either through a negotiated settlement agreement or by winning a verdict in a court trial.
At PKSD, we have a deep commitment to excellence when it comes to obtaining compensation for our injured clients. Learn more about negotiated settlements and jury verdicts, including how each situation may benefit you.
Call our firm to learn more and schedule a free and confidential case review – there is no cost or obligation for this service.
What is a Settlement?
A settlement is what occurs during the insurance claim process when both the plaintiff and defendant reach an agreement regarding a dispute, without having to involve a court trial, judge or jury. Negotiating a settlement for a personal injury claim can take months to resolve, sometimes longer – and in more challenging claims, it may not happen at all.
At a very simplified level, negotiating may look something like this:
- Plaintiff’s attorney (attorney for the injured victim) submits a demand letter for the damages
- The defendant’s attorney will respond – most likely with a much lower counteroffer
- Your attorney will respond with another offer
- Negotiation continues this way until a settlement is reached, or until it is evident that this process can go no further
How is a Jury Verdict Different?
Resolving a dispute through a court trial – which results in a jury verdict – becomes necessary when the plaintiff and defendant cannot agree on a settlement.
If this approach – a civil lawsuit – becomes necessary, your attorney will need to plead your case in in front of a judge and jury.
Why The Difference Matters
When considering these two methods for obtaining compensation after an accident, people often ask which one is better? But the answer to that question involves more thought than saying one approach is better than the other.
Settlement Pros and Cons
Since a settlement does not involve going to trial, the costs are significantly less. For the victim, this means you get to keep more of the compensation that is awarded.
On the downside, it takes time – because you need to first reach your maximum state of recovery before an accurate value can be assigned to your claim.
Experienced attorneys, who are also skilled negotiators, understand all of the factors that must be included in the final settlement. They know how to compile all related information to determine a fair settlement for their clients. If your attorney is not a skilled negotiator, you could get far less than your claim is worth.
Jury Verdict Pros and Cons
While jury-awarded verdicts are often larger than a settlement agreement, it is also possible you could get less – and sometimes, none at all.
There are major negatives to a lawsuit ending up in court:
- Not all attorneys are prepared to go to trial
- Some attorneys may encourage you to take a lower settlement to avoid going to court
- Insurance companies often know which attorneys or law firms are unwilling to plead a case and may use that information to pay less on a claim
- The additional costs of going to court can be significant and reduce the final compensation you receive
Call an Experienced Law Firm for Legal Help
At PKSD, we are prepared to fight to protect the fair value of your claim – even if that means going to court. That said, we are prepared to work hard to obtain the maximum compensation and settle your case. However, if that is not possible, we have the resources and qualified staff to plead your case in court.
Contact our Milwaukee-based personal injury lawyers for help pursuing compensation after an injury due to another party’s negligence.
Call PKSD. Free Case Review. 877-877-2228