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Personal Injury Settlements vs. Court-Ordered Judgments

Last updated 5 years ago

If you have been hurt by an individual or corporation, filing a lawsuit may be the only way to achieve justice. A personal injury claim filed to recover damages can end in two ways: an out-of-court settlement agreed upon by both parties or a court-ordered judgment after trial. Read more about the differences between these two kinds of financial compensation here.

Personal Injury Settlements
In the United States, only about 4% of personal injury cases go to trial. Most cases are resolved through a settlement in which the party allegedly at fault tries to keep the case from going to trial by offering a sum of money to the injured party. This agreement can be reached at any point before or during trial. A personal injury settlement can help a victim avoid spending a great deal of time waiting for court proceedings. It is also advantageous for high-profile defendants to settle out of court, as it reduces court expenses and keeps bad media coverage to a minimum. Settlements are generally easier to collect than judgments and bring a quicker resolution to the legal process.

Court-Ordered Judgments
If the two parties cannot agree upon a settlement, the lawsuit proceeds to a trial that is decided by a judge or jury. If the judge or jury rules in favor of the injured party, or plaintiff, the defendant must pay a monetary amount, or damages. By going to trial, both parties take a chance. Collecting damages may be more difficult than collecting a settlement. In many cases, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to set up payment arrangements, and defendants can be difficult to work with. Consult your attorney to determine if pursuing a trial is in your best interest.

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, your first step is to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. At The Carlson Law Firm, every client is important to us. If you live in Texas and your life has been affected by an injury caused by another's negligence, contact us at (888) 335-7492.


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