Knowing When To Walk Away — Timing A Personal Injury Case Settlement

A personal injury lawsuit is often a necessary evil when you've been injured due to the negligence of another party. But many cases are not decided by a jury verdict, but rather by a negotiated settlement. If you are willing to come to a settlement agreement, you can save time, money, and stress. But when can you settle? And when should you? Here's what you need to know. 

When Can You Settle?

The good news about being open to settling is that you can settle at any time before a verdict. You are not beholden to take the first offer made by the insurer or defendant. Settlements may seem like "giving up" in some people's eyes, but they actually give you a great deal of control over your compensation and your case. 

When Should You Settle?

So, if you can settle at any time, the question becomes when you should settle. The answer depends on the specifics of your case and yourself. But here are four of the most popular times to settle and why they can be great choices for you. 

  • You may settle before launching a case. You don't actually have to go to the formal step of starting a legal case with the courts in order to negotiate a settlement. Insurers and defendants may both be motivated to avoid the cost of a legal defense entirely. Settling at this stage also saves you those costs, and you keep more of that settlement. 
  • You may settle after serving a complaint. A very common time to settle is after starting a lawsuit, such as after serving the defendant with a complaint. This step lets them know you are serious about pursuing your rights in a legal trial. Sometimes, this formality wakes up the other party, motivating them to save money by coming to the table. 
  • You may settle after discovery is complete. Discovery is the pre-trial exchange of information and evidence by both parties. It allows you to more accurately gauge the strength and weaknesses of both sides' cases. This can be an excellent time to settle because you have the best idea of how your case may play out in court. 
  • You may settle before a jury verdict. Finally, you have one last chance to settle once both sides have rested their cases. If your case turns out strong, the defendant may be very, very motivated to avoid an even costlier jury verdict by making a last-minute compromise. 

Clearly, your options are open when it comes to settling. This is one of the reasons it can be such a powerful tool for victims. 

Where Should You Start?

Learn more about negotiating a settlement and the right timing to find success. Meet with a personal injury lawyer in your state today to get started.