When most people think of a lawsuit, they envision opposing parties laying out the facts in court before a judge and jury. What many people don’t know, however, is that most personal injury lawsuits settle prior to trial. In fact, experts estimate that only around four percent of all personal injury lawsuits go to trial. Given the high percentage of personal injury cases that settle, anyone considering filing a personal injury lawsuit in West Virginia should understand the pros and cons of settling a West Virginia personal injury case.
The pros of settling a West Virginia personal injury case
Under the right circumstances, settling can be a good idea. Some of the benefits of settling your West Virginia personal injury case include:
Predictability: Whenever a case goes to trial, both parties take a risk. This is because trial results are unpredictable. In other words, it’s impossible to predict how a judge or jury will decide any given case. By settling, both parties know exactly what they’re getting.
Speed: The court system is notoriously slow. In fact, some cases take years to conclude. By settling, parties can conclude a case quickly and move on with their lives.
Less stress: The trial process is stressful. Settling allows parties to avoid the stress of a trial.
The cons of settling a West Virginia personal injury case
Lower compensation: Juries are wildly unpredictable, and defendants know this. Therefore, many would rather make a low settlement offer than risk a large jury award. In addition, defendants know that many plaintiffs would rather be paid sooner than later, even if this means accepting less compensation for their injuries. Thus, it is common for a defendant in a personal injury case to make a lowball offers early in the litigation process.
Punitive damages aren’t an option: Most personal injury case damages are compensatory, which means that they compensate plaintiffs for losses. However, when a plaintiff’s injuries are the result of a defendant’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence, the court sometimes awards the plaintiff punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant and prevent similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages also provide plaintiffs with a sense of justice. When a case settles out of court, the defendant rarely admits guilt, and punitive damages are not a possibility.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident in West Virginia, you need an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney in your corner. At Hewitt & Salvatore, our experienced legal professionals will fight hard to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. When you choose Hewitt & Salvatore to handle your West Virginia personal injury case, you can rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our talented West Virginia personal injury attorneys.