Golitko & Daly

Personal Injury Settlements vs. Verdicts

By Matthew Golitko on January 23, 2020

Judge’s gavelWhen a person is injured by the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party, they’re likely due compensation for resulting damages. Victims can seek compensation through a lawsuit. When filing a lawsuit, it is best to work with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who will consider all aspects of loss when fighting for compensation.

Once a person files a lawsuit, it may not always make its way through court. Some lawsuits end in a settlement, while others reach a verdict. The personal injury lawyers at Golitko & Daly discuss personal injury settlements vs. verdicts with our Indianapolis, IN, and Kokomo, IN, clients, and help them consider which may be in their best interest.

Personal Injury Settlement

 A personal injury settlement is an agreement that is reached prior to completing legal proceedings. When injured parties file a lawsuit, the defendant (or the accused party) is notified. In most cases, they then hire their own attorney to work on their behalf. Attorneys prepare the case for court, but they often try to reach a settlement before trial.

A personal injury settlement may be offered by either the plaintiff or defendant. Once a settlement is offered, the opposing side is able to review it. They have the right to accept the settlement, deny the settlement, or make a counter offer. If a settlement is reached, the case is considered closed and the plaintiff will not have the right to pursue further legal action. In many cases, a settlement is reached before a personal injury lawsuit actually makes its way through court.

Personal Injury Verdict

A personal injury verdict is a ruling that is determined by the judge or jury of a court proceeding. When a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, each party is able to present their side of the argument. After hearing both sides, the judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, the court will then reward the amount of financial compensation that they believe is appropriate for the case.

Personal injury lawsuits are similar to criminal proceedings. However, there are two big differences. First, the jury in a personal injury lawsuit does not have to reach a unanimous decision. Instead, the verdict is determined by majority. Second, the burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit is not as strict as in criminal court. The plaintiff’s side simply must show that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s actions caused injury to the plaintiff.

Which Is Best?

Although the burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit is not as strict, it is often in a person’s best interest to reach a settlement prior to trial. Personal injury settlements save our clients the time and expense of a lengthy court proceeding. Despite these benefits, the best option for our clients varies in each case. Our attorneys are always ready to go to court if we are not able to reach a settlement that justly compensates clients for injury losses.

Contact Us

Individuals in the Indiana area who have been injured as the result of reckless or negligent actions can work with the lawyers at Golitko & Daly to seek financial compensation for their losses. If you would like to discuss the details of your case with a member of our legal team, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (866) 650-8092.

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