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What should I know about personal injury settlements?

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, there are a few different things that can happen. In some cases, you will end up going to trial. In others, you will be able to resolve your case before you go to trial. This might mean that you and the other party come to an agreement about a settlement. It is important to understand what a settlement means so that you can make sure that you want to settle before trial.

What should I consider about the settlement amount?

Generally, the settlement amount will be higher if you go to trial; however, that doesn't mean that you will end up with more money. When you go through mediation, the fees are usually a lot less than if you go through a trial. This means that even though the actual settlement amount is smaller than a jury would award, you are likely going to walk away with more money in your pocket.

What else should I know?

When you are considering a settlement, you should consider how the publicity will affect you if you end up taking your case to trial. Civil trials are public, so your personal information could be revealed during the trial. Additionally, settlements are usually the faster way to end the case. This means that you won't have to wait on trial dates and sit through the trial process, which could prove to be lengthy.

Oftentimes, settlements are a preferred way to handle personal injury cases. If you are considering a settlement, it is important that you understand your rights and how the settlement compares to the possible outcome of a trail.

Source: FindLaw, "Resolution Before Trial: Settlement," accessed April. 24, 2015

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