Settlement or Trial of an Injury Claim

One reason that you might have to file a car accident lawsuit in Georgia is that of the failure to come to a fair settlement with the insurance company.

The insurance company thinks they know the value of the case to them.

Settlement or Trial

It is based upon their experience handling similar claims and how similar claims have been handled in the jurisdiction in which the case would be tried if it had to go to court.

On the other hand, your Georgia personal injury lawyer has their own view on the value of your case, as do you.

It is the job of the attorney and it is the job of the insurance representative, both which represent their own respective clients, to come up with a proper settlement.

This requires flexibility and patience. It also requires a true understanding of the value the case.

If either participant in negotiations is outside of the acceptable range of settlements, then it is based upon one of two things.

The first being that someone wishes to be litigious and to not settle the case or because each party has placed a different value upon the same facts.

I’m assuming here of course that both parties have agreed to the facts of the case. If a case has dispute liability, such as we’re not exactly sure who was at fault for how much at fault, then the value each party puts on the case could be wildly different.

For example, the insurance company does not think that their driver was at fault and we think that their driver was at fault. The insurance company would and should in that case offer is $0.00. On the other hand, we will expect full compensation for all of your injuries and expenses.

In this situation, you can clearly see that both parties will have difficulty in coming to an agreement in regards to selling the case without being flexible and without having the patience to wait for the other side to become flexible.

There are certain considerations that you should be aware of before you make the determination to abandon settlement negotiations and to proceed towards litigation.

For example, say you were in a motorcycle accident. A suit against a county has a different timeline than a suit against an individual. Your Georgia motorcycle accident attorney knows this and will keep you protected.

Statute of Limitations

One obvious factor in determining whether to file suit is not is the statue limitations. The schedule notations is a legal deadline which must be met in order for the case to remain valid.

If a lawsuit is filed after the statue limitations, then your case will be thrown out of court and you will have no recovery. So, obviously knowing the statute limitations for each type the defendant is of utmost importance in the determination to stop attempting to settle the case in the file suit.



The whimsical nature of the American public.

There is never a guarantee that you’re going to win a trial. Each jury is comprised of 12 individuals. And those individuals are completely different. They may see your case completely different we but how we view.

They may believe the other driver is to blame for the accident, but days don’t want to give you the amount of money that we are requesting. There could be numerous reasons why the jury returns a smaller verdict than desired.

For one we always want more than we should get. But seriously, everyone views what happens to them with more importance than what happens to someone else.

It is our job and responsibility during the trial to make sure that the jury understands how the accident affected your life. The pain and suffering that you went through is an important detail.

How that pain changed your daily base your daily lifestyle. How that change affected those around you.  In it is a case-by-case basis obviously.

Someone with a minor injury will not look will not be looked at the same way as someone with a more severe injury. And to some degree the injury is more severe than the average person is accustomed to seeing, then the verdict may be equal to or greater than what we actually hoped the jury would return.

That is on the good side. But on the bad side, they could not like you is individual. They could find that you are untrustworthy. They could find that the medical providers did not do a good job. They could find the other driver is just so sweet and they don’t want to give a verdict against them.

But I do know the insurance company will provide a certain amount coverage for the other driver, however that is not something that we are allowed to introduce a trial.

And that same insurance company has millions of dollars to pay claims with. And the amount of insurance that sweet old lady has will be the amount the insurance company will pay anything above that amount that sweet old lady will be responsible for.

So on one hand, that sweet old lady has a million-dollar I brought policy, but the jury thinks that she has a $25,000 minimum insurance policy, we may have a problem.


That is another reason why going to trial may not always benefit each client individually. I have had clients that had tattoos on her neck that you could see. That is not the client you want to try without a turtleneck on. I personally don’t have any tattoos but to each his own.

However, not every juror or person lives their life as such. That is an extreme example, however, it is important to note that each little factor can adjust the amount of the verdict. The main take away here is that trials are unpredictable in the amount of the insurance offer is fixed.

Another factor to consider when thinking about taking the case to trial is the amount of additional time that it will take. Going to trial is not an easy thing.

Each County has its own internal system operating. One county may be fast where another County is extremely slow. In some counties, there is a tremendous backlog in the other counties not so much so. The metro Atlanta counties are quite full. What that means is time spent without your money.

A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. And with that in mind, you have to think about how long it’s going to take you to actually get your money.

If the car insurance company were to make an offer and we accept that offer, then usually we would have a check in hand within a week or so.

Another issue is the amount of time to try a case in court versus settlement of the same personal injury cases.  

If we determined that that offer was not going to cut it, and the insurance company indicated that that was the highest offer they could make without going to trial then we would need to factor that in.

The difference between a couple weeks or week or so and go on trial maybe a year plus. That is important to keep in mind because you have your own life. Before your involved in this accident you had your own things going on and had a daily routine. Now that you’re in this accident, one of the things that you’re constantly thinking about is your personal injury case.

You’re probably wondering what your attorney is doing or what the other insurance company is offering or whether nine you’re going to take an offer or would you going to do with the money from the settlement are any of the above. So there is some benefit to actually resolving the case.

Your mind will be able to resort to your old way of thinking which is not thinking about a car accident case. That does have some value. It especially has value if you have already healed because this will be the last scar that needs to go away.

All the details may become public.

Your friends, family, strangers, and enemies will all know exactly what happened and how much money you got. To some people that is completely irrelevant.

To some people that is a frightening idea. To most people, it is somewhere in between. Now, unless you are in a very small town most people never know the there was a trial, but you are involved in a trial, and that you one a good bit of money.

Most people do not read the legal journals to see who’s doing what in the legal community and what are the most recent verdicts.

Therefore, privacy is generally not an issue and a motorcycle accident or trucking accident case. However, as a Georgia wrongful death lawyer, I understand having the world know the amount of money that you received may be frightening.

If it is a substantial amount or if it is against a high-profile defendant, then the likelihood of others knowing about your settlement is quite high.

Another detail that is important to understand the decision where the weather to settle or to litigate a car accident case, is the attorney’s fee. Most attorneys including yours truly works on a contingency basis which is one-third of the total settlement.

However, if the case goes to trial, then obviously the attorney’s fees will be higher. In that case, most attorneys instead of charging 33% will charge 40% if not 50%.

That means that right off the bat you have to do marginally better at trial than you would at the settlement for you as the client to even break even pass a decision not this except the offer from the insurance company.

This was Joseph P McClelland with another Georgia legal article for your viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoyed it and if you are in need of a George consumer attorney, and contact my office today at 770-775-0938. Thank you.

See our newest articles from our Motorcycle Accident Department.

Spread the Word

About the Author

Consumer Attorney that fights big businesses on your behalf. Started his career in international human rights before eventually finding his true calling in consumer protection law. He is a husband and trial lawyer. Most of his work involves credit reporting errors, robocalls, and identity theft. His law practice is in the Atlanta/Decatur area.

Leave a Reply 0 comments