Have you been injured in an accident in Massachusetts because someone else was negligent? From less-than-cautious motorists with whom you share the road to property owners who fail to address hazardous conditions, various negligent individuals could potentially allow you to be injured through no fault of your own.

This experience may leave you facing hefty medical bills, loss of work, and numerous other struggles that can impact both your finances and overall quality of life. You deserve to receive compensation for these losses if you wouldn’t have been injured had someone else not been negligent.

Speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer for more information about your options. If you have a valid case and do take legal action, be aware that you may have to make a critical decision at some point: Will you settle out of court, or will you go to trial?

There are pros and cons to both choices. They include:

Pros of Going to Trial

Shining a Light on a Defendant’s Wrongdoing

In many instances, filing a claim or lawsuit after being injured due to someone else’s negligence doesn’t merely serve to help a victim receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills and related losses. It can also protect others from being harmed in the future.

This is more likely to happen if you go to trial. If you settle out of court, a negligent party doesn’t have to publicly admit to any wrongdoing. On the other hand, if you win in court, the defendant will be held accountable in a more public way. This could render them more inclined to be careful in the future.

Pursuing the Full Amount of Compensation You Deserve

Seeking compensation after being injured as a result of another party’s actions or carelessness typically involves filing an insurance claim. Because insurance is a business, when a victim files a claim, an insurance company’s typical response is to prioritize settling a case for the smallest payout possible.

Lawyers usually advise their clients to go to trial when an insurance company simply refuses to make an appropriate offer. Although it is unethical for a lawyer to state with any degree of certainty that a client will receive a specific amount of compensation, often, going to trial gives a lawyer the opportunity to paint a vivid picture of a client’s hardships for a jury. This can sometimes improve a victim’s odds of securing more compensation than they would receive if they were to settle with the insurance company out of court.

In many instances, filing a claim or lawsuit after being injured due to someone else’s negligence doesn’t merely serve to help a victim receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills and related losses. It can also protect others from being harmed in the future.

Cons of Going to Trial

Less Certainty

Going to trial may be necessary if the defendant or insurance company refuses to offer a proper settlement. However, when you go to trial, there’s no guarantee that you will be awarded damages.

It’s possible the jury will side with the defendant. If they do, you’ll be awarded nothing, and you’ll be unable to convince the insurance company to offer a settlement, leaving you solely responsible for covering your bills after an accident. Even if the jury does decide in your favor, you can’t be certain the amount of damages you’ll be awarded will be sufficient to properly compensate you.

Prolonging the Process

You shouldn’t accept an unfair settlement offer merely because you’re tired of waiting to receive compensation. A lawyer can explain to you why it may be worth your time to hold out for a better offer if they have good reason to believe they can convince an insurance company to pay more.

That said, you also might wish to resolve your case in a reasonable time frame. Be aware, if you choose to go to trial, the time frame for a resolution may be extended.

Stress

Depending on the circumstances, if you go to trial, you may be required to take the stand and testify. This can be a stressful experience.

When you settle out of court, often, your lawyer will handle all correspondence with the insurance company, witnesses, etc. Many find this to be much less burdensome.

Ultimately, there’s no universal answer to the question “Is it better to go to trial or settle out of court?” Every case is different, and numerous factors must be accounted for when determining the proper strategy.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., the goal of our Boston personal injury attorneys is to optimize our clients’ chances of securing the full amount of compensation for which they’re eligible. We’ll give your case the individualized attention it deserves when determining whether going to trial is the best option. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us online or call us at (800) 545-3732 for a free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: David W. Faraci
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David Faraci is an associate attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. David’s practice focuses on the representation of victims of all types of personal injuries and their families. David has experience working on a variety of litigation cases including medical malpractice, products liability, general negligence, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. Prior to joining Swartz & Swartz, David worked as an associate attorney at a boutique personal injury firm in Boston. David began his legal career in San Francisco, California where he worked as an associate attorney with a prominent Plaintiffs’ litigation firm.

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