How Do Settlements Differ from Jury Verdicts?
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on May 18, 2021 in Personal Injury
When pursuing a civil claim for a personal injury, compensation may be awarded through a settlement or a jury-awarded verdict. While you may have heard these terms before, you may not know the advantages and disadvantages of each method of resolving a claim.
Rizk Law explains more about the differences between settlements and verdicts in a personal injury claim, including the pros and cons of each.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Portland handle claims every day, and we know how to maximize your recovery if you were injured because of another’s negligence.
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How Do Settlements and Verdicts Differ in Portland?
In Portland, like in other cities and states across the country, both legal terms describe how your personal injury case could be resolved.
A settlement is the desired outcome of negotiations between two parties. Once an agreement is reached and the document is signed by the judge, the resolution is binding. No court appearance is required in this scenario and the outcome is a single lump sum payment.
If your personal injury case goes to trial, the outcome of your case will be determined by a jury. The jury decides whether the other party is liable for your injuries, whether to award compensation, and how much to award.
What Can You Expect from a Settlement?
There are many benefits to agreeing to a settlement, especially since it means no trial is necessary:
- You avoid the additional cost and expense involved with going to trial
- There is no question about the amount of compensation you will receive – it is already agreed to
- Settlements can usually be reached in less time than it takes to get through a trial and have the jury reach a verdict, which means you get the compensation you need more quickly
- For many, the thought of going to court is much more stressful than the idea of reaching an out-of-court settlement
Are There Disadvantages to Settlements?
The answer to this question varies from case to case. That said, there may be a few disadvantages to a settlement when this option is compared to pursuing a jury verdict:
- The settlement could be smaller than what a jury may award, especially if your attorney is a less experienced negotiator
- Once you sign the agreement and release the defendant from further liability, you cannot request additional compensation later, even if your injury worsens.
- Defendants named in the claim do not have to admit to any wrongdoing – for some victims, this may feel like they did not get justice
What You Need to Know About a Jury-Awarded Verdict
The thought of going to trial is often intimidating to injured victims. There are times, however, when a trial may be advantageous for an accident victim, especially when life-altering injuries are involved.
Benefits of Going to Trial
Going to trial can be advantageous for a few reasons:
- A jury may award significantly more than you may have recovered in a settlement
- A trial may provide more closure, particularly for those who suffered permanent injuries or were injured due to egregious negligence
What are the Disadvantages of Going to Trial?
There are also some disadvantages to going to trial:
- The outcome of a trial is not guaranteed, even when there is strong evidence that supports your claim. The jury could award significantly more money than you would have received in a settlement, but the reverse is also true. You could receive nothing if the jury decides in favor of the defendant.
- Trials take longer, so it will also take more time for you to receive compensation.
- The trial process is expensive. The additional attorney fees and other costs will come out of your settlement.
- Either party may appeal if the judge made a significant mistake at trial.
- In 2021, most courts are facing a backlog of cases which means it may be many months until a trial date is set.
What is the Benefit of Working with an Attorney?
If you suffered injuries in an accident caused another’s negligent actions, Rizk Law is prepared to help. We have been assisting injury victims in Portland for nearly two decades.
Our goal is to recover maximum compensation through a settlement or jury verdict. It is important to have an attorney with courtroom experience because you never know when it may be necessary to go to trial.
Deadlines apply, so call our law offices today to discuss your situation and whether you may have a case. There is no cost for an initial consultation.