Trials are Expensive, Settling Doesn’t Have to Be
Typically, the injured person (the plaintiff) in a personal injury lawsuit will have a contingency fee arrangement with his or her attorney. The most common arrangement is that the attorney will receive 33% of any pre-trial settlement and 40% of any amount received after trial begins.
A defendant will typically hire an attorney and pay an hourly rate, so the very time-intensive trial process represents a significant out-of-pocket expense for the defendant, compared to settling. Paying more to attorneys is not the only expense of trial. Expert witnesses, court costs, travel and lost time from work can all add up considerably.