Note to victims of accidents, medical malpractice, broken contracts and the like: When you sue, make a deal.
is the clear lesson of a soon-to-be-released study of civil lawsuits
that has found that most of the plaintiffs who decided to pass up a
settlement offer and went to trial ended up getting less money than if
they had taken that offer.
…Defendants made the wrong decision by proceeding to trial far less
often, in 24 percent of cases, according to the study; plaintiffs were
wrong in 61 percent of cases. In just 15 percent of cases, both sides
were right to go to trial – meaning that the defendant paid less than
the plaintiff had wanted but the plaintiff got more than the defendant
Here is the story. The good news is that 80 to 92 percent of cases do in fact settle. The bad news is that, over time, poor decisions to go to trial have become more rather than less frequent.