What Is a Settlement vs. a Verdict?

If you have suffered injuries or damages due to the negligence of another party, then you are likely looking into filing a personal injury claim so to receive the financial compensation that you deserve. With this, you can either receive this compensation via a settlement or a verdict. The option you select will depend largely on your willingness to negotiate with the negligent party. Follow along to find out the difference between the two and how a proficient Landover Maryland personal injury lawyer at the The Law Office of Conrad W. Judy III, LLC can help you in determining which legal route is in your best interest.

What is the difference between a settlement and a verdict?

Put simply, a settlement is an agreement made between you, the plaintiff, and the negligent party, the defendant, outside of a courtroom setting. That is, it is a binding agreement between you and the plaintiff in which you agree to not pursue any further legal action in exchange for financial compensation. This tends to be the more favorable option because the courtroom can create an extensive and expensive legal process.

With a settlement, your lawyer will work on your behalf in fighting to cover all past, present, and future economic and non-economic losses related to your accident. If a fair settlement is not attainable, then your lawyer will soon represent you in a verdict. Contrastingly, a verdict is decided in court by trial.

How is a settlement reached?

Sometimes, your lawyer will craft a strong demand letter and then negotiate with the negligent party’s insurance company until they agree on a fair settlement amount.

Other times, settlements are reached through a mediation or arbitration process. In either of these two processes, your lawyer will calculate the value of each damage you incurred to arrive at the overall value of your claim to negotiate.

How is a verdict reached?

In your case, you hold the responsibility of supplying a preponderance of evidence to prove the negligence of the other party. So, in the pre-trial discovery period, your lawyer will assist you in gathering the appropriate evidence and retaining expert witnesses. The following explains how the rest of your case will go so that a verdict is reached:

  1. A jury will be selected.
  2. Both parties will make opening statements.
  3. Evidence will be presented.
  4. Witness testimonies will be made.
  5. Cross-examinations will be made.
  6. Both parties will make closing statements.
  7. The jury will deliberate to reach a verdict of which party is liable and therefore responsible for paying for the damages.

If you are still unsure about which legal route is best for your circumstances, reach out to Conrad W. Judy III today.


The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Conrad W. Judy III, LLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Maryland, contact our firm today to discuss our services. 

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