When someone suffers a personal injury due to the negligence of another party, they have the option of settling their claim with the insurance company of the responsible party or taking the case to trial. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to carefully consider them before making a decision. It is also important to listen to recommendations of a qualified personal injury lawyer in Colorado.
Settling a Personal Injury Case in Colorado
Settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company typically involves negotiating a settlement amount with the insurer. The process may involve exchanging information about the injury, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. If an agreement is reached, the injured party will sign a release of liability, and the insurance company will provide the agreed-upon amount of compensation. Settling a claim with an insurance company can be a quicker and less stressful process than going to trial. Additionally, it is generally less expensive since it avoids the costs of litigation.
However, settling a claim with an insurance company also has its drawbacks. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize their financial liability, which may mean offering a settlement that is lower than the injured party deserves. Moreover, once a settlement is accepted, the injured party forfeits the right to sue the responsible party for additional damages in the future. Furthermore, settlements are typically confidential, which means that the injured party cannot discuss the details of their case.
Advantages of Settling:
- Quicker Resolution: Settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company is typically a quicker process than going to trial. This means that you can receive compensation for your injuries and damages much sooner.
- Predictable Outcome: With a settlement, you know exactly how much compensation you’ll receive. This allows you to plan for the future and move on from the accident.
- Lower Legal Fees: Settling with an insurance company can be less expensive than going to trial. You won’t have to pay for expert witnesses, court costs, or other legal fees associated with a trial.
Disadvantages of Settling:
- Lower Compensation: Settlements often result in lower compensation than what you might receive at trial. Insurance companies are looking to save money, and they may offer a lower settlement amount than what you deserve.
- No Chance of Appeal: Once you sign the settlement agreement, you give up your right to sue the at-fault party in the future. If you later discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought, you won’t be able to appeal for additional compensation.
Going to Trial in Colorado
Going to trial, on the other hand, involves presenting evidence in front of a judge and jury, who will ultimately determine the outcome of the case. A trial allows the injured party to make their case and pursue full compensation for their damages. Going to trial can be a lengthier process, but it may also result in a larger settlement or verdict.
However, going to trial is also a riskier and more expensive option. There is no guarantee of the outcome, and the costs of hiring an attorney, conducting discovery, and preparing for trial can add up quickly. Moreover, going to trial may involve testifying in front of a jury, which can be a stressful and emotional experience for the injured party.
Advantages of Going to Trial
- Higher Compensation: If you win the case, you may receive a higher compensation than what you would receive in a settlement. The court may award you additional compensation for punitive damages or other damages that aren’t included in a settlement.
- Chance of Appeal: If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of the trial, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Disadvantages of Going to Trial:
- Longer Process: Going to trial is a longer process than settling with an insurance company. It can take months or even years to reach a resolution.
- Higher Legal Fees: Going to trial can be more expensive than settling with an insurance company. You’ll have to pay for expert witnesses, court costs, and other legal fees associated with a trial.
- Unpredictable Outcome: Going to trial is a risky proposition. There’s no guarantee that you’ll win the case, and you may end up with no compensation at all.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Colorado
Settlement of a personal injury claim with an insurance company may be a good option if the settlement amount is fair and the injured party wants to avoid the stress and expense of going to trial. However, if the settlement offer is too low, or the injured party wants to pursue full compensation, going to trial may be a better option. Ultimately, the decision will depend on the specific circumstances of each case, and it is important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to make an informed decision.
At Bowman Law, our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of people navigate the complexities of the legal system. If you or a loved one have been hurt, please contact us for a free consultation. Our injury law firm serves Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.
Types of Cases We Take
Our personal injury law attorneys handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.