Is a Car Accident Settlement Better Than a Verdict?

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Injuries are often accidental. However, when they happen due to another party’s negligence, it could open such a person to a personal injury lawsuit. The defendant’s intention does not matter in cases like this. A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit has two options available to them.

The first is to go to trial, and the second is a settlement. Each option is great when the right considerations are made. However, how do you know that you have made the right choice? Could you have gotten a larger settlement if you had decided to go to trial instead of settling?

Getting an accurate answer to these questions would largely depend on whether you have a good Indianapolis personal injury lawyer like those at Stewart|Wood|Phelps. In the article, we look at the two options to identify the best suited to you.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is defined as resolving a lawsuit (or of a legal dispute before filing a complaint or petition) without going forward to a final court judgment. Not every lawsuit is settled in court. Often, one or more parties may prefer a settlement instead of going to court. There are a few reasons why this option is chosen. One is that it often takes place away from public scrutiny.

If the case could harm the reputation of one of the parties, they may decide to shield it from public scrutiny, in which case a settlement is a better option. Another reason is that it is usually faster than going to court. When a party to a lawsuit opts for a settlement, it is often because they would like the case to be over as soon as possible.

No two cases are the same. However, settlements work the same way. The plaintiff’s lawyer submits their demands to the defendant’s lawyer. The defendant’s lawyers review these demands with their client. Depending on the demands, they could accept it or return with a counteroffer. This process continues until the parties agree.

What Is a Trial?

A trial, on the other hand, is the more familiar option. The plaintiff’s demands are decided in court before a lawyer or a jury. The time required to conclude is not fixed and could be determined by several factors. Therefore, it would be best to hire an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to represent you. An experienced personal injury lawyer would be able to give you an accurate estimate of how long your case could take.

Trial vs. Settlement

As you’ve seen, the process for a trial is entirely different from that of a settlement. This section will look at some advantages and disadvantages of both options. The aim is to help you make a decision.


Time is an important consideration when choosing how to get your personal injury settlement. Usually, settlements can be reached in a shorter time than trials. For a settlement, the parties involved determine the pace, whereas a judge determines how long a case would take.


Both options offer individuals varying levels of control. With a settlement, to a large extent, you control how much you could receive in damages. However, that’s not the case once it goes to trial. On the flip side, there’s always a chance that going to trial would result in you receiving higher damages than if you opted for a settlement. Therefore, it often comes down to convenience.


Another factor to consider when choosing between a trial and settlement is privacy. If you would like some privacy, then a settlement is a great option as it could be done discreetly. A trial, on the other hand, exposes you to public scrutiny.

Regardless of the option you choose, you must ensure that you have considered all the pros and cons with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

How Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Not all personal injury cases are similar. For some, settling out of court is their best option. Yet, for others, going to trial is a better option. However, only an experienced personal injury lawyer can guide you on what options to choose. Therefore, you should contact the personal injury lawyers at Stewart|Wood|Phelps.

Our passion and commitment make us the best pick to get you the compensation you deserve. We combine our legal knowledge with our understanding of the local legal system to deliver outstanding service to our clients. We would love to work with you. Give us a call today to get started.

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