What Differences a Verdict from a Settlement?

Attorney Blog

If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. Hiring the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago or a Personal Injury Lawyer Champaign Il can help you understand your options for seeking compensation. Two potential outcomes of a personal injury case are a settlement or a verdict. There are key differences between these resolutions. With this information, you can go ahead and hire a personal injury lawyer Champaign Il

What is Meant by a Settlement? 

A settlement is an agreement reached outside of court in which both parties compromise to close the case. Settlement negotiations happen between the plaintiff (injured party) and defendant (at-fault party) and/or insurance companies.

The plaintiff starts settlement talks by sending a demand letter stating their requested amount of compensation for damages. The defendant makes counteroffers until both sides land on an agreeable sum. A settlement contract is then signed releasing the defendant from further liability in exchange for the negotiated payment amount.

Benefits of settling include:

  • Avoiding a trial which saves time and legal expenses
  • Control over the settlement amount based on negotiations
  • Faster receipt of compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages, etc.

However, settlements may not fully cover all losses and damages suffered.

What is meant by a Verdict?

If a personal injury case does not settle beforehand, it proceeds to a civil trial. A judge or jury listens to arguments and evidence from both sides before issuing a binding decision known as a verdict.

A plaintiff wins their case if the verdict states the defendant is liable for damages. The verdict also specifies the compensation amount the defendant must pay. A defense verdict conversely finds no liability and awards nothing to the plaintiff. You can clarify more on this by working with the best personal injury lawyer in Chicago

Benefits of a favorable verdict include:

  • The court sets compensation often higher than initial settlement offers
  • Sense of justice or vindication through the formal trial process
  • Opportunity to present evidence and formally tell one’s side of the story

However, trials come with no guarantees and can result in defense verdicts. Trials also take much longer to reach resolution compared to settlements.

Key Differences Between a Verdict and a Settlement 

To summarize key differences:

  • Settlements happen out of court through mutual negotiations, while verdicts happen through formal court trials
  • Plaintiffs generally have more control over settlement amounts, while judges or juries determine verdict compensation
  • Settlements allow both sides to avoid lengthy trials, but may not adequately cover losses suffered

Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can provide guidance on whether to settle your case or go to trial. They will advocate for maximum compensation based on the unique circumstances of your claim.



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