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Settlements versus Verdicts in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Posted on November 30, 2020 in

If you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, you know that this civil complaint may result in a monetary award for the damages you suffered. You may have heard settlement and verdict used interchangeably in this context; while these terms are similar, they refer to two different agreements.

A settlement is an out-of-court agreement that two parties reach prior to entering trial, while a verdict is a court-issued decision or judgement. Understanding the difference between these two outcomes is important to know what is best for your future claim.

Pros and Cons of a Personal Injury Settlement

Most personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom, either before the attorney files the lawsuit or before the case reaches trial. A settlement can provide several benefits to your case, including the following.

  • With a settlement, you can resolve your case much more quickly than if you went to trial.
  • Since you determine the terms of the agreement, you will know how much you can expect to receive.
  • The settlement process is typically less stressful than a lengthier trial.
  • A settlement agreement is not available on public record, which provides greater privacy for all parties.

However, settlements do carry certain risks. You may receive an insufficient offer, and if you choose to accept it, you can struggle with paying for important expenses such as medical care or property repairs in the future.

Hiring a Portland personal injury attorney to represent your case can help you avoid this pitfall; he or she can determine when it is in your best interest to accept a settlement offer and the minimum amount you should accept.

What Is a Verdict in a Personal Injury Case?

If your case cannot settle outside of court, you will enter trial and receive a verdict at the conclusion of your case. You may receive a higher amount through a verdict than through a settlement agreement, and since a trial is on public record, you can speak freely about your settlement and your experience.

While a verdict may provide several benefits, there are risks involved as well. The court will have the authority to determine whether you are eligible for a settlement based on the theory of negligence and will use the evidence provided to determine the exact value of your award.

Another risk is the possibility of comparative negligence. In some cases, the court may determine you share liability for the accident and reduce your award amount by the percentage you share. Oregon follows a modified comparative negligence law, which states that you cannot recover any compensation if you share more than 50% of the liability. If the at-fault party makes a compelling claim against you,

It can be difficult to prove liability under these strict rules. With the right attorney, however, you can defend yourself against accusations of liability and establish a compelling case for your compensation.

Contact Tillmann Law for Assistance

Navigating the personal injury process can be difficult after a recent injury. You deserve rest, recovery, and just compensation — and the personal injury lawyers at Tillmann Law can help.

We represent Oregon residents in multiple types of personal injury claims, including car accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. If you need aggressive representation to achieve the compensation you deserve, our firm has the resources, experience, and knowledge to advocate for your best interests each step of the way.

Contact Tillmann Law today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your legal options.