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Should I Settle My Case or Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on October 8, 2009

The thought of dealing with lawyers, expert witnesses, judges, and juries is enough to make anyone’s head spin. To avoid such a scenario, many people who have been injured due to negligence want to settle their personal injury claim as quickly as possible, without hiring a personal injury attorney in Mesa.

But is Settling Your Case Really the Best Route to Take?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Numerous questions must be asked and factors evaluated when deciding whether or not to settle.

For instance, one critical question that must be asked is: what is the claim “worth”? Here, we’re not talking about what is fair in terms of compensation. In fact, fairness shouldn’t really be a factor at all when considering whether or not to settle. Instead, we’re trying to determine whether or not it is more beneficial to the injured person to continue forward with a case.

At this point, you might be thinking: “Why isn’t fairness a factor in deciding whether to settle? If someone is severely injured due to the gross negligence of another person, isn’t it only fair to bring that case to trial?”

Not always. The fact of the matter is that if a case isn’t settled, a jury will most likely decide what that case is worth – and they may come back with a surprising verdict.

Consider This Example
A man is severely injured in a Mesa auto accident that was caused by a negligent driver. Everyone agrees that fair compensation for this man’s injuries is about $1 million. But if the jury comes back and only awards the man $100,000, then the man will only receive $100,000. That’s it. It’s not fair, but it’s what the jury decided. So, if we, as personal injury attorneys, had a crystal ball and knew the jury would only award $100,000 and yet, the defendant was offering $200,000 to settle the case quickly, then we’d settle.

On the other hand, if someone was in a minor accident and sustained a slight injury, many people might think the case does not have merit and the jury should award nothing. And yet, if we had our crystal ball and saw that a jury would award $1 million in this case, even if the defendant were offering $900,000 to settle, we wouldn’t settle.

This can be a very difficult concept to follow and understand – especially because it goes against out notion of fairness and justice in the legal system. But the fact is that juries consist of a randomly assembled group of people (eight in the case of personal injury claims in Mesa and throughout Arizona). These people come from different backgrounds with different opinions and experiences. As a result, no one is ever 100% certain about what a jury will decide – and any Mesa personal injury lawyer who tells you with certainty that they can guarantee a trial’s outcome is not being honest with you.

That being said, an experienced personal injury attorney in Mesa can typically gauge the expected verdict. How? Because they know to consider what a jury is likely to do – not the fairness surrounding a case – when trying to decide whether or not to settle. An experienced attorney in Mesa, Arizona will also consider factors, such as what verdicts have been for other similar cases. He or she will then be able to weigh all of the aspects surrounding a case to help the injured victim reach the most favorable conclusion – whether it’s a settlement or compensation awarded through a jury trial.

If you have a personal injury case, and you’re not sure whether to settle or not, please contact the Mesa, Arizona personal injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we can provide you with a free, confidential assessment of your case.

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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer