After suffering a personal injury in an accident, you can resolve your case in one of two ways: a settlement or a lawsuit. The vast majority of civil cases resolve via out-of-court settlements. A settlement is an agreement you come to with an insurance company to accept a sum of money in exchange for not taking the defendant to court. Settlements are the most common personal injury claim resolutions. Some cases, however, will benefit more from proceeding to court in West Virginia.

Settlement vs. Lawsuit

After you file your initial injury claim with an insurance company, you will wait to hear whether the insurer has accepted or denied your demands. If the company accepts your claim, you will enter into settlement negotiations. These are discussions that occur outside of a courtroom setting, with or without attorneys present. You have the power to negotiate back and forth with the insurance provider until coming to an amount that satisfies your needs. Hiring a West Virginia personal injury attorney to do this for you will generally end in better results, as insurance companies tend to respond better to pressure from attorneys.

If you cannot agree with the insurer on a fair settlement amount, you can file a lawsuit against the defendant instead of settling. Otherwise, you will agree to the amount offered by the insurance company and sign a legally-binding document agreeing to drop your case in exchange for the settlement award discussed. Accepting a settlement will effectively end your case. You will be unable to file an additional claim against the same defendant for the same accident or injury in the future after taking a settlement, even if your condition changes. Make sure the settlement you accept is fair before signing anything.

A lawsuit is an entirely different process from an insurance settlement. Rather than settling matters between just you and the insurance company, a trial involves third parties: namely, judges and juries. You may have to go through arbitration, a discovery phase, depositions, hearings and other court processes. The judge or jury will hear your side of the case as well as the defendant’s during hearings. Your lawyer may hire experts and bring in witnesses to testify on your behalf. Then, the judge or jury will determine the outcome of your case based on the facts and evidence presented.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Settling Out of Court

Most claimants prefer settling out of court to going to trial. However, both methods can have benefits and drawbacks. The right route for you will depend on the success of settlement negotiations, the extent of your injuries and your unique goals for your case. Settling out of court can have pros and cons depending on your claim.

  • Pro: A settlement is cheaper and faster than taking a claim to trial in West Virginia.
  • Con: You may receive less money for your damages in a settlement compared to a trial verdict.
  • Pro: During a settlement, you remain in control of the outcome of your case – not a judge or jury.
  • Con: A settlement remains private, possibly taking away from public awareness of the defendant’s negligence, wrongdoing or injustice.

Settling your injury claim without going to court can mean receiving a check faster than you would during a court trial. Settlements often take around three months to resolve, while a trial can take a year or longer. However, proceeding to court could mean getting maximum compensation for your injuries. A judge or jury may award pain and suffering and punitive damages, for example, while settlements generally do not include these damage types. Work with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether an out-of-court settlement is right for you. Either way, hire a lawyer to represent your best interests.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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