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When is a settlement better than going to trial?

Deciding to file a lawsuit for any reason is stressful and intimidating. However, when you are seeking to reclaim losses from an accident caused by someone else's reckless or negligent actions, it may be even more daunting. You may still be struggling through your recovery, suffering in pain and dealing with fatigue. Additionally, you may not feel comfortable reliving the whole traumatic event and its aftermath.

One way to avoid the stress and fear a trial can induce is to settle the matter with the defendant. In fact, most personal injury cases resolve through the settlement process rather than going to trial, and many people settle their disputes without even filing a lawsuit. You may find that a settlement is a better option for you as well.

How do I know if my case would do well at trial?

Deciding to settle your case means giving up the right to have your complaint heard by a Colorado jury. You and your opponent negotiate until you reach an agreeable resolution, and there is no need for the lengthy, exhausting courtroom battle. Some factors you can weigh to help you determine whether a settlement is best for you include the following:

  • What is the strength of the evidence your opponent will present to refute your claims?
  • What are the most serious weaknesses that may make it difficult to prove your case?
  • Are there any challenges you may face in presenting your evidence?
  • What are the overall chances of a trial being successful?
  • How do the typical awards from jury verdicts compare to settlements from cases similar to yours?

Your attorney will be able to tell you approximately how much money your case is worth and whether it is reasonable to expect that much from a verdict. You may also wish to consider whether you have in mind a minimum dollar amount you would accept in a settlement, and if your opponent would be willing and able to come up with that amount. Finally, a settlement may not be possible if your opponent's legal team is unwilling to negotiate.

If your opponent is unwilling to offer an amount your attorney feels is fair and just, you may end up going to trial. In this case, you want to be sure your legal representative is fearless in the courtroom and will passionately defend your right to compensation for your financial damages, lost wages, pain and suffering.

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