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Do I Have to Go to Court to Get a Settlement?

No. In fact, it is far more likely that you will be able to settle your case without going to court. Settling out of court is easier, less expensive, and less time consuming for all parties involved.

Generally, the insurance provider with which you file your personal injury claim conducts an investigation of the claim to determine its value. It does this by adding the total amount of the damages you claim and examining the evidence you provide to determine an appropriate compensation amount for your losses. It then offers a settlement amount, which you can choose to accept or work with your attorney to attempt to negotiate a higher amount. Once your attorney and the insurance provider reach an agreement, you can accept the settlement and receive compensation.

Why Would I Go to Court?

Sometimes, a personal injury claim does not progress as smoothly as the one described above. An insurance provider might deny a claim, find the claimant to be at fault, or as is the case with intentional torts, the defendant might be facing criminal as well as civil charges. In this last scenario, going to court can mean a larger settlement for you than you might have received if you settled your case out of court.

Discuss the possibility of taking your case to court with your attorney, but do not assume that this is how your case will progress. In many cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit is a last resort and only used when other methods of resolving a claim have not been successful.

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