What is the Difference Between a Verdict and a Settlement?

What is the Difference Between a Verdict and a Settlement?

When discussing financial sums awarded in a lawsuit, you may hear the terms verdict and settlement. Although verdicts and settlements sound similar, they are actually different forms of lawsuit resolution. Verdicts and settlements can both result in financial compensation for the plaintiff, but these outcomes involve different processes. A verdict is a decision from a jury or judge reached after a trial. However, with a settlement, both parties come to an agreement outside of the courtroom. The attorneys at The Lake Law Firm have extensive experience in recovering monetary awards for our clients through settlements and verdicts. We pledge to determine the best course of action for you and your claim. 

What Is a Settlement?

In a settlement, the two parties voluntarily formulate a legally binding contractual agreement to settle a claim. A settlement does not rely upon the input of a jury to determine the compensation. However, a judge will still need to sign off and provide a blessing for the agreement. The plaintiff and defendant will negotiate outside of court to resolve the dispute. In mass tort cases, a large corporation or entity facing several lawsuits for similar claims may consider a settlement to reduce trial costs and time. Even though settlements often occur before trials, the two parties can also strike a settlement at any point, even if a trial is underway. The settlement agreement should provide an equitable sum to fairly resolve the claim and cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the plaintiff’s injury. 

What Is a Verdict?

While a settlement is basically a deal made by the two parties outside of court, a verdict is a ruling made by the jury or judge after court proceedings. This occurs when the plaintiff and defendant cannot come to mutually agreeable settlement terms. Since the opposing parties cannot decide on their own, they pursue a verdict for a determination. Sworn members of the public will sit on a panel as the jury and listen to the facts of the issues of the claim. In some instances, only the judge will hear and render a ruling on the case without input from a jury. This type of trial is known as a bench trial. After hearing statements, testimony, and evidence from the two sides, the jury or judge will reach an impartial verdict. 

Is a Settlement or a Verdict Better for My Case?

Whether a settlement or verdict is more beneficial depends on you and the factors of your specific claim. Sometimes claimants consider settlements preferable because they do not want to devote time, energy, or legal resources to withstand a court trial. Furthermore, a settlement will provide the claimant with definitive financial compensation quicker than a verdict. Going to court may present certain risks as there is no guarantee that the jury or judge will find the defendant guilty. However, seeking a verdict may secure you more financial compensation compared to a settlement. In a settlement, defendants may be unwilling to settle your claim for the maximum or appropriate sum. 

The Lake Law Firm Can Handle Your Claim

It is always best to consult the opinion of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney regarding the best course of action for your claim. At The Lake Law Firm, our trusted attorneys are prepared and able to discuss our recommendations for settlements and verdicts. We can evaluate the strength of your claim and assess the facts of your case to best help you. Instead of rushing into a settlement or making the leap to stand trial for a verdict, we urge you to consider enlisting the assistance of The Lake Law Firm. 

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 274-0139.