What Is the Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict?

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If you have suffered injuries and damages in an accident that was of no fault of your own, you are likely looking to seek justice and recover financial compensation. You can do so via a personal injury claim. And depending on the circumstances of your legal proceedings, you will either reach a settlement or a verdict. Follow along to find out the difference between the two and how a proficient Morris County personal injury lawyer at Lutz Injury Law can represent you in either scenario.

What is a settlement vs. a verdict?

Firstly, a settlement is an agreement made between a plaintiff and a defendant outside of a courtroom setting. More specifically, this agreement includes you promising not to pursue any further legal action so long as the at-fault party gives you the financial compensation that you require to heal. With this, your lawyer will advocate for you to receive a fair amount of compensation that will cover your past, present, and future economic and non-economic damages. Ultimately, your lawyer will have to transition into representing you in a trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

A trial is where a verdict is decided. So, if your case goes to trial, you and your lawyer will present evidence that backs up your case to receive more compensation than you were originally offered. However, during trial, there is a possibility that you can be proven at fault for your accident and your chances at compensation will be harmed.

How is a settlement reached?

In a settlement, your lawyer may craft a demand letter and negotiate a fair settlement amount with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Or, your lawyer may pursue a mediation or arbitration process. Here, they will calculate the total value of your incurred damages and negotiate a fair settlement amount with the at-fault party and their respective lawyer.

How is a verdict reached?

Below is a step-by-step explanation as to how a verdict will be reached for your claim:

  1. A panel of jurors will be selected by asking questions to eliminate potential bias.
  2. Both parties will make opening statements to effectively present their argument to the jury.
  3. Your lawyer will present evidence that proves you were not at fault for your accident.
  4. Both parties will make concluding statements to convince the jury to believe their argument.
  5. The jury will deliberate to come to a conclusion.
  6. The jury will share their verdict with the judge.
  7. If you win the trial, you may begin recovering compensation, so long as the other party does not file an appeal.

For more information, reach out to Edward C. Lutz, Esq. today.


If you have been the victim of the negligence of another in an accident, please contact a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney at Lutz Injury Law as quickly as possible following the subject accident.

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