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Settlement?  Why Aren’t We Going to Trial?

A small percentage of lawsuits actually result in trials.  There are many reasons behind this.  A lot of clients are surprised when their attorney tells them that their case likely won’t be going to trial.  Why would your lawyer say this?  Do they not want to fight for you?

The answer is complicated.  Going to trial is always a risk, as you are going to be telling your story to a group of strangers, hoping they side with you and your attorney.  Trying to guess the backgrounds, mindsets, and prejudices of six to twelve strangers is a very tough task, even for the best and most experienced trial attorneys.

Preparing a lawsuit to the point of being prepared for trial is also a very expensive and time-consuming process.  Your attorney has a duty to you as their client to communicate all offers of settlement made by opposing counsel.  If your lawsuit has been going on for a year, and the opposing side makes a reasonable offer that you feel comfortable accepting, is it worth taking the risk of losing it all to try to win a larger reward from a jury?

A good attorney will walk you through the pros and cons of all possible scenarios and will advise you on which path you should take.  As the client, however, it is ultimately your decision on whether or not you choose to take whatever settlement offer the defendant(s) are making.

Sometimes, an offer may seem lower than what you think you may win after a trial.  Certain things must be taken into account, however, such as how much money you have spent so far on your lawsuit.  If the offer is $5,000.00 lower than you were expecting, but your attorney knows that it will cost another $7,000.00 to prepare the case for trial, is it worth the risk to you?

An extreme example to illustrate this point is someone who is in an accident, never saw a doctor, never missed any work, and wasn’t seriously injured.  If the defendant offers you $5,000.00, this may be an offer worth taking.  Your attorney could, in theory, hire tons of experts and doctors worth thousands and thousands of dollars to try to win your case, but in the long run, this likely won’t leave any money for their client to recover.

These are the kinds of questions you should ask your attorney and the decisions they should assist you with.  Clearly, if the defendant’s offer is significantly less than you or your attorney would ever consider, this conversation may not need to happen.  Other times, there comes a point where a tough decision may need to be made.

It is important to have experienced legal counsel to help walk you through these decisions and assist you so that you can maximize your recovery if you have been injured.  If you feel like you have been wrongfully injured, feel free to contact Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. for a free case consultation today.