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The Difference Between a Settlement and a Trial in Florida Personal Injury Cases

When you contact a personal injury attorney and decide on pursuing a personal injury case in Florida, you may have different paths available for seeking compensation. In many cases, personal injury claims are resolved through either a settlement or a trial. These are different options, each with their benefits and potential drawbacks.


If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence and are wondering whether to pursue a settlement or a court case, contact Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation. We can review whether you have a claim and develop a strategy for maximizing your chances of compensation.

Settlements: A Mutual Agreement

A settlement is a resolution reached between the parties involved in a personal injury case without going to trial. It’s a voluntary agreement in which the injured party, also known as the plaintiff, agrees to accept a specific amount of compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Many personal injury claims are resolved through settlement. Even if your case goes to court, you can still seek and reach a settlement before the final verdict.

A defendant may make a settlement offer to you. The man drawback is that it may be for less than you were expecting or less than you might get if you went to trial. You can work with your personal injury attorney to weigh the offer and decide if it’s right for you. Your lawyer can also negotiate with the other party, seeking a better settlement.

Opting for a settlement can offer several advantages, including:

  • A faster outcome and less spent on legal expenses.
  • More control over the outcome and the amount of compensation you’ll receive, because you’re avoiding the uncertainty that comes with a trial.
  • Confidentiality, since most settlements are not made public.

Trials: Seeking Justice in Court

If a settlement cannot be reached or if the parties involved disagree on fair compensation, the case may go to trial. In a trial, the evidence is presented before a judge or a jury, who then makes a final decision on the outcome and the amount of compensation, if any, that should be awarded.

The main disadvantage to a trial is that it can be time-consuming and expensive to take a case to court. You will need an attorney and with some courts backlogged with cases, it can take months or years for your claim to work its way through the courts.

Trials offer their own benefits, however:

  • They allow the injured party to present their case fully and seek the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
  • Trials result in a public record, which may be beneficial if the case involves a matter of public interest or if you want the details of the incident to be known so that the at-fault party is held responsible for their actions.
  • In some cases, a trial may establish legal precedent, influencing future cases and potentially leading to positive changes in laws or regulations.

Should You Decide on a Settlement or Court Case?

If you have a claim, you will need to decide whether to accept a settlement or take your case all the way to court. You will want to talk to your personal injury attorney about your options and you might want to ask yourself and your lawyer:

  • How strong is my case? If the evidence strongly supports your claim, you may have a stronger bargaining position during settlement negotiations. However, if there are uncertainties or disputes regarding liability, a trial may provide an opportunity to present your case more comprehensively and seek a favorable outcome.
  • What are the possible risks with each choice? While a settlement can offer a quicker resolution, it may result in a lower amount of compensation than if you were successful in a trial. On the other hand, pursuing a trial carries inherent risks, including the possibility of an unfavorable judgment or the need for appeals, which is a long process.
  • What is my financial situation? You will want to talk to your personal injury attorney about your financial circumstances. If you are in severe financial distress, you may not be able to wait for a court outcome or you may decide that fairer compensation through a court win is important.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial in evaluating your case, understanding your rights, and making informed decisions about settlements or trials.

If you’ve been injured because of someone’s negligence in Florida, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to set up a free accident consultation in our Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood offices. We may even set up a phone consultation or come to you. Our team of attorneys can review your case and help you understand what options exist for you.

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