Data concerning the rate of settlement for personal injury cases are varied, though what is consistent with the statistics is that they demonstrate that it is more probable that a case will settle than go to court. The question most clients ask is when my case will settle? There is no accurate answer to this general question because each case is different in fact, client, a defendant, and adjuster. The people involved are as important as what happened when it comes to settling a claim.
A settlement is the result of an agreement between the victim (client) and the insurance carrier for the person that injured the victim, whose representative is called an adjuster. If the client and the adjuster agree on a value, then the case settles. If they cannot agree on a value, then the case must be litigated before a jury or an arbitrator who then determines the value of the case. Thus, a settlement is most dependent upon the client and the adjuster, and their agreement to reach a value for the case that is acceptable to both.
Anything that does not lead to shared value will not settle. The decision to settle a case is solely in the power of a client and adjuster. An attorney may advise the client to settle or refrain from settling for a given value but the sole authority to accept a settlement always remains with the client.
When a case will settle and when a case can settle are similar questions with remarkably different answers. A case may settle at any time- either before a lawsuit is filed after a lawsuit is filed, even after a trial occurs, and even after a verdict is rendered. When a specific case settles has too many variables (mainly the valuation of the client v. the adjuster) to provide any true answer.