When the opposing parties agree to settle, then the plaintiff is assured of at least some money, and the defendant has some control over the size of the compensation.
At a trial, a jury’s verdict could go either way.
The jury could decide against the plaintiff, which would eliminate the plaintiff’s chances for receiving any type of compensation. On the other hand, the jurors could issue what is known as a runaway verdict. That is one in which the amount awarded to the plaintiff exceeds by far the value of the plaintiff’s losses.
Even if the jury was to select a “middle-figure,” when deciding what to award the person that has filed the personal injury lawsuit, neither personal injury lawyer in Mississauga could predict what that figure might be.
Lawyers’ approach to the existence of such unpredictability
A personal injury attorney could not give a client a specific figure, when asked what a given case was worth. The attorney’s answer would probably come in the form of a range. The client would learn the range in which the claim’s value would be most apt to lie.
At the same time, the source of the defendant’s money, usually an insurance company, lacks the ability to come up with an optimal figure for the opening offer in negotiations. Instead, it thinks in terms of a range of figures. In other words, both sides have a range in their mind, as the negotiations move forward.
Consider the goal of a negotiated settlement. Achievement of that goal entails coming to agreement on some figure. When both sides have conceived of an acceptable range, it becomes easier for them to agree on a figure that lies within or close to a given range.
In other words, the negotiations can more forward at a faster pace, when the offers from both sides have come from an examination of an acceptable range. Lawyers welcome that feature, because it gives them more time to devote to the cases of other clients.
Sometimes, negotiations do come to a standstill. Because the legal system acknowledges that fact, it has been designed to encourage creation of out-of-court settlements. For instance, in some jurisdictions, the opposing parties are required to attend a mediation session, if negotiations have not led to a settlement.
In other jurisdictions, plaintiffs that elect to sue a defendant might need to respect an established cap, one that has been placed on the money for pain and suffering. The cap’s existence tends to make the prospect of going to court even less inviting. In other words, it serves as another means for pushing a plaintiff to settle, instead of trying to achieve some form of revenge against a given defendant.