Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney
Schedule A Consultation Today! Phone Logo Icon 863-619-5291
Lakeland Family & Divorce Attorney / Blog / Car Accident / Is It Better To Settle My Car Accident Case or Go to Trial?

Is It Better To Settle My Car Accident Case or Go to Trial?


After a Florida car accident, you can receive financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other accident related expenses and losses. Often, when people think of car accident cases, they think of being on the witness stand in a courtroom. Many people assume that the only way to obtain compensation after an auto accident is by going to trial. However, the truth is that most car accident cases don’t go to trial. Most cases settle outside of court, with many cases settling before a formal lawsuit is filed. But just because most auto accident cases settle, does it mean settling your case is the better option? In other words, is it better to settle a car accident case or go to trial?

So, is it better to settle or go to trial? For most people, settling is the better option. However, there is no definitive answer to this question. Only a qualified car accident attorney can help you answer this question after assessing the various factors surrounding your case. Every car accident case is unique, and both options have advantages and disadvantages. Whether it is best to settle your car accident case or go to trial depends on the specifics of your situation.

What Is a Settlement?

With a settlement, the injured party, also called the claimant, demands compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses or costs. In most cases, the claimant does this by sending a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance company then makes a settlement offer. As the claimant, you can accept, counter, or reject the offer. Once an amount has been agreed upon, the claimant signs a release form. When you sign a release form, you waive your right to pursue additional legal actions related to the specific accident covered by the form. For this reason, it is crucial to be extremely cautious before signing a release form. You should never sign such a form before consulting an attorney.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Settling a Car Accident Case

The following are some of the advantages of settling an auto accident case;

  • Guaranteed payment
  • Privacy
  • You get paid faster and know the outcome
  • Settling usually costs the individual less money in the long run
  • You avoid the unpredictability and expense of a trial
  • Settling can reduce emotional stress

Below are some disadvantages of settling a car accident case;

  • Potential for lower compensation
  • The insurance company might pressure you to settle quickly
  • Lack of public accountability

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Your Car Accident Case to Trial

Potential advantages of taking your car accident case to court include the following;

  • You could receive a higher compensation amount; but the amount is uncertain
  • You get a sense of justice
  • The defendant is held accountable

The following are some of the disadvantages of going to trial;

  • Trials can be expensive
  • Cases can take years to go to trial
  • If you lose you could end up owing the other side’s attorney fees
  • Trials are unpredictable and you could end up recovering zero
  • Trials are stressful

Contact a Lakeland, FL, Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been involved in a Florida car accident and need help determining how to handle your case, contact our qualified Lakeland car accident attorneys at Darla K. Snead, P.L.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn