Personal injury claims can be a daunting prospect for defendants. Facing potential financial liability, damage to their reputation, and the stress and distraction of litigation, defendants must decide if it makes more sense to settle or keep fighting for a better outcome at trial. While some cases do proceed to trial, the vast majority (95 percent) are resolved through settlement outside of the courtroom. But why do most defendants choose to settle personal injury claims? Let’s explore the reasons behind this common decision.

Why Do Most Defendants Choose to Settle Personal Injury Claims?

Here are the top six reasons that most defendants are motivated to settle a personal injury case before trial:

  1. Cost-benefit analysis

One of the primary factors influencing a defendant’s decision to settle is the cost-benefit analysis. Litigation can be an expensive endeavor, involving attorney fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and potential damages awarded to the plaintiff if the case goes to trial. When the personal injury settlement amount being asked is low enough that it would actually be less expensive for the defendant to settle than spend the money on attorney’s fees and court costs, it makes more financial sense to settle than to keep fighting in court.

  1. Risk management

Litigation inherently involves a level of risk for defendants. Even if the defendant’s insurance company believes it has a strong case, there’s always the possibility of an unfavorable verdict. When the insurance company believes that the plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit will succeed in court, they are especially likely to avoid the risk of losing at trial. Settling allows defendants to manage this risk more effectively by reaching a mutually acceptable agreement with the plaintiff, thereby avoiding the unpredictability of a jury decision.

  1. Time savings

Legal proceedings can be lengthy, with trials sometimes dragging on for months or even years. Settling out of court offers a quicker resolution, allowing defendants to move past the dispute and focus on other priorities. By avoiding protracted litigation, defendants can save valuable time and resources.

  1. Protecting their reputation

For businesses and individuals alike, preserving reputation is often a priority. A prolonged legal battle can attract negative publicity and damage a defendant’s standing in the community or industry. Settling out of court allows defendants to maintain a more favorable public image by resolving the dispute discreetly and without the need for public litigation.

  1. Certainty and control

Settling a personal injury claim provides defendants with a degree of certainty and control over the outcome. Unlike trials, where decisions are made by judges or juries, settlements are negotiated agreements between the parties involved. This allows defendants to have a say in the terms of resolution and avoid potentially adverse rulings.

  1. Practical considerations

In some cases, defendants may choose to settle simply for practical reasons. Whether it’s to avoid disruption to business operations, minimize distractions, or preserve relationships with customers or clients, settling can offer a pragmatic solution to resolving the dispute efficiently.

While litigation may sometimes be unavoidable, settling personal injury claims outside of court often proves to be the most pragmatic and cost-effective option for defendants. By carefully weighing the potential risks and benefits, defendants can make informed decisions that best serve their interests and facilitate a swift resolution to the dispute.

At Tario & Associates, P.S., our experienced personal injury lawyers do everything in their power to negotiate favorable out-of-court settlements. Where settlement is not possible, we take cases to trial, fighting hard to protect the rights and interests of our clients.

Contact a personal injury lawyer today!

An accident lawyer can help you recover a full and fair settlement for the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by the negligence of another with no up-front costs to you. We know the sneaky strategies used by insurance companies to get injured people to agree to settlements far below what they are worth. Our clients typically end up with a settlement or jury award that is five to ten times larger than they could have negotiated on their own. We have been representing injured people injured in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. Contact the experienced and hard-working personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Mount Vernon, WA today for a FREE consultation!

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