Early Settlement vs. Full Value for Personal Injuries

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Monday, Mar 25, 2024

The vast majority, over 90%, of personal injury cases settle out of court rather than proceeding to a trial.

There are four main reasons why this is true:

Going to trial is risky for both sides as you never know what a jury will do. They may decide your claim is worth nothing or they may impose substantial damages. However, when you decide to settle your case, you know for sure what the outcome will be.

Trials can be very expensive. It often costs substantial money to take a case to court. In most personal injury cases that proceed to trial you are required to call “expert” witness(es) on your behalf to support your theory of the case. Experts may be required to prove both liability, as well as proving your damages and injuries. More than one medical expert may be required to be called depending on the injuries involved. An economist may be required to prove economic loss and a life care planner may be required to explain your projected future expenses.

Trials take a long time. It can take two to three years to get a case ready for trial and then you may have to wait for the judge to find time to hear the case since our court’s dockets and Judges are always busy and over-crowded. Settling a case can take significantly less time.

Litigation is an adversarial process - one side is going to win and the other side is going to lose. A settlement, on the other hand, is an agreement that is acceptable to all the parties involved.

Finally, even if you are successful and win your trial, and the jury awards you a large sum of money, the other side can, and most often will, appeal. An appeal can then take another one to two years to be decided and you may win or lose the appeal depending on what happened during the trial.

So how do you know what to accept as a fair offer?

First and foremost, hire an attorney you trust, one who has experience negotiating settlements. At Jaroslawicz & Jaros we’ve been negotiating cases since 1980, so we have an idea of what each case is worth, and we do our best to get our clients the best settlements. We keep our clients fully informed on how the negotiations are going, and most importantly the clients always make the final decision.

How quickly was an offer made? If the defendant was quick to make an offer, will they go up at least a little more if you are willing to wait and build a stronger case against them.

Sometimes defendant's offer to settle for a much smaller amount than they are actually willing to pay just because they think the injured party is desperate for money. It is important to remember that sometimes being patient is worth the wait.

If you have an idea of what you think is fair then discuss that number and what your reasoning is based on with your attorney. If the other side makes an offer that falls into the range you consider fair, and your attorney agrees that the amount offered is reasonable, you should consider taking it even if it is an early offer.

Is the full extent of your damages known? It is premature to settle if you still do not know how extensive and permanent your injuries will be.

How much insurance does the defendant have? You cannot obtain a settlement or verdict for more than the defendant’s available insurance coverage.

Get the advice and guidance you and your family need

You do not have to go through this alone.

At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

We Have Recovered Over $2 Billion for Our Clients.

The attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have obtained verdicts and settlements of over $1 Million for hundreds of our individual clients. Since all New York personal injury law firms generally charge the same legal fee why not hire an experienced law firm with a proven track record?

When you retain the New York City accident lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, you will always work directly with your lawyer, and not with a paralegal or secretary. We will always be available to you! Our hundreds of positive client reviews and testimonials speak for themselves.

Experience and a track record of results

Contact the attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros for a free legal consultation regarding your rights and your legal options. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs.

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You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.