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  • Why Most Cases Are Settled Out-of-court? Is Settlement Right for You?

    Why Most Cases Are Settled Out-of-court? Is Settlement Right for You?

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    Why Most Cases Are Settled Out-of-court? Is Settlement Right for You?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 96% of personal injury cases settle out of court. During the entire process, everything relies upon how well the negotiations go with the negligent party’s insurance company.

Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have recovered $150 million in out-of-court settlements and successful verdicts at trial. We have extensive experience in both and can help guide you on the best option to help resolve your legal dispute. Contact us to discuss your case with our experienced legal counsel.

Is an Out-of-court Settlement Better than Going to Trial?

Most personal injury cases settle outside of court for many reasons, some of which include the following:

  • Time and cost-efficient: Compared to settlement agreements outside of court, going to trial can be lengthy and expensive. Trials can take months or even years to complete and involve substantial legal fees and other costs. An out-of-court settlement can be a quick and inexpensive way to resolve personal injury cases. Even insurance companies avoid going to trial as it draws in bad publicity and costs them more.
  • Predictable outcome: Trials are inherently unpredictable as you can never be sure how a judge or jury will decide the case, which can be risky if you’re looking to get compensation to pay for your medical bills and other expenses. On the other hand, an out-of-court settlement can provide a more predictable outcome, allowing the parties to avoid the risk and reach a mutual agreement over the settlement amount.
  • Confidentiality: Personal injury cases settled outside of court are private and confidential, whereas trial proceedings are part of public records. If privacy is a concern for you, you may want to consider settling the case out of court, which can help keep the details of your personal injury case confidential.
  • Control over the outcome: Many accident victims prefer to settle out of court as the parties involved have more control over the outcome of the case. They can negotiate the terms of the settlement agreement and arrive at a conclusion that would work for all the parties. On the other hand, in a trial, the outcome is in the hands of the judge or jury.
  • Emotional toll: Going to trial can be emotionally taxing for the accident victim, who may have to testify and relive the traumatic event that led to their injuries. Settling the case out of court can provide closure and avoid the emotional toll of a trial, allowing accident victims to receive compensation and move on with their lives.

Whether to pursue an out-of-court settlement or go to trial varies from one personal injury case to another. It is crucial to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can help evaluate the case and guide you on your legal options so that you can make an informed decision.

What’s Included in a Settlement Agreement?

When both parties agree to settle out of court, they must draft a settlement agreement that includes the following:

  • The name of the parties involved
  • The reasons for the settlement
  • A no admission to a liability clause
  • The settlement amount the parties have to pay
  • Invoicing and payment schedule
  • A mutual release clauses.

What Are Some of the Challenges When Going to Trial?

Sometimes a settlement agreement may not be the best option in a personal injury case, which is why you may want to consider going to trial. As an injured victim, you can represent yourself in court during a trial. However, a court trial also presents several unique challenges, including the following, which you must be ready to tackle.

Jury Selection

Selecting a fair and impartial jury can be a challenge. Both sides (the plaintiff and the defendant) play a key role in choosing a jury to ensure the trial is as fair as possible. During this stage, it is crucial to ensure that the jurors have no biases that could affect their ability to be objective.

Reviewing Evidence

Presenting evidence clearly and concisely can be challenging as you want to ensure that the jury understands the evidence and its significance to the case. It is crucial to create a convincing story and, in some cases, ensure that the jury relates to your story by presenting the right evidence.

Expert Witnesses

Sometimes complex medical issues can be difficult for the jury to wrap their heads around. An expert witness can help the jury understand the extent of the injuries and how the injuries may continue to affect the victim’s life. Expert witnesses need to be qualified, credible, and able to explain their opinions in a way that the jury can understand.


The defendants will also have their side of the argument, including witnesses who may testify against the plaintiff. At the trial, it is essential to cross-examine the witness to prove that the plaintiff’s side of the story is what the jury must believe. You need to be able to ask effective questions that challenge their credibility and poke holes in their testimony.

Legal Arguments

Presenting legal arguments to the judge can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any legal expertise or know-how. You need to articulate the law and how it applies to your personal injury case clearly and persuasively.

Emotional Toll

Trials can be emotionally taxing for both sides. The stress and anxiety of going to trial can adversely affect your ability to present the case effectively, harming the outcome.

Unpredictable Jury Verdicts

Trials are inherently unpredictable, and it can be challenging to predict the outcome. You must adjust your strategy and respond to unexpected developments during the trial. While it can be challenging, a successful trial can result in a significant award and provide closure to the case.

Although you have the right to represent yourself in court, it would be an unwise decision that can affect how the case turns out. A skilled and experienced attorney can help you navigate these challenges, overcome legal hurdles, and present a compelling case to the jury, increasing your chances of recovering compensation.

Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have successful trial experience, and we understand the challenges that may present during one. Our attorneys can help evaluate your case and determine whether an out-of-court settlement is right for you or if you should consider going to trial.

Is an Alternative Dispute Resolution Different than Out-of-court Settlements?

An alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a way to resolve legal disputes outside of court, and it is slightly different than an out-of-court settlement.

ADR typically involves a neutral third party who facilitates negotiations between the parties to reach a settlement. There are several types of ADR, including mediation, arbitration, and negotiation.

How to Maximize the Value of an Out-of-court Settlement?

Here are a few ways to maximize the value of your out-of-court settlement.

Thoroughly Investigate the Case

A thorough investigation can help reveal all the parties liable for the damages. Often, injured victims fail to identify all the parties in their personal injury case, which means they end up leaving money damages on the table.

Gather Relevant Evidence

Gather all the necessary evidence, including medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other relevant documentation. Relevant evidence can help you understand the strength of your case and build a strong and compelling personal injury claim. 

It is important to note that evidence can make or break your case, which is why you must discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you on the type of evidence that can bolster your claim.

Keep All Documentations

Document all damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Non-economic damages can be challenging to calculate as they are subjective losses. You must document your pain and suffering in a journal and write how it affects your daily life.

Have Realistic Demands

Unreasonable demands can jeopardize personal injury claims, and accident victims need to set a realistic settlement demand based on damages incurred. An attorney can help calculate the damages incurred and estimate the value of your personal injury claim.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

Negotiation is a critical phase in personal injury out-of-court settlements, and you must be willing to compromise to reach a settlement agreement. However, it is essential not to settle for less than what you deserve.

Anticipate Potential Challenges

During out-of-court settlements, accident victims may face challenges such as the opposing party’s arguments which they must address by developing counterarguments in advance. 

The negligent party’s insurance company will try to reduce the payout by pinning the blame on you, which is why you must be ready to tackle them by providing concrete evidence.

Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Negotiation is an art, and building a strong case requires expertise. Accident victims must work with skilled and reputable personal injury attorneys to increase their chances of recovering financial compensation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law Injury Attorneys

If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident or lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation to discuss your case. Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys can help evaluate your case and pursue legal action, whether a claim or a lawsuit, against the negligent party to get you the compensation you deserve.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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