Settling Serious Injury Cases Out Of Court


In many car accident and personal injury cases, clients often wish to “settle out of court” so as to avoid the stress, anxiety and uncertainty of a jury trial. In many cases this is entirely possible and the client can still achieve a settlement that approximates the fair value of their case. However, in a certain number of cases, settlement offers pre-trial may not constitute adequate compensation for the damage inflicted and thus a jury trial may be a necessity. Sometimes, despite the fact that the injured individual is counseled by their lawyer that the settlement being offered is less than what a jury might return in a verdict, nonetheless the client will decide to accept the settlement offer rather than go to court. However, to maximize the value of a claim sometimes it is necessary to present a case to a jury, particularly in those cases where the insurance carrier is making an offer that is much lower than the demonstrated value of the claim.

Every client has to make their own decision as to whether they should settle out of court or proceed to trial by jury. The vast majority of all cases do settle out of court, however, those cases that result in settlements which objectively are close to the value of the claim are likely those who have been prepared by counsel to be presented to the jury in the event pre-trial negotiations are unsuccessful. The best way to achieve the maximum value in settlement negotiations is to be ready to proceed to trial in the event the offers made are not consistent with the evidence in a case.

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About Lee Gutschenritter

Lee Gutschenritter is a trial lawyer dedicated to the representation of individuals who have suffered injuries and death due to the negligence of others. He has represented clients in cases throughout Georgia and has successfully litigated numerous cases in both state and federal courts.

Prior to joining Finch McCranie LLP, Mr. Gutschenritter spent several years working for one of Georgia’s largest defense firms. Insurance companies hired him to defend individuals and companies in cases involving motor vehicle accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, medical malpractice, and premises liability cases. Throughout this time period, he gained insight into the operations and strategies of insurance companies, as well as first-hand experience in the strategies used by defense attorneys. Today, Mr. Gutschenritter uses his knowledge of insurance companies and defense techniques to help ensure his clients receive the best representation possible.

Mr. Gutschenritter was recently profiled on the front page of the Daily Report. A copy of the article can be found here. In 2016 and again in 2017, Mr. Gutschenritter was selected as an Atlanta Magazine Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” an award reserved for the top 2.5% of attorneys in Georgia. He has been a featured speaker at several legal seminars around the state of Georgia. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Florida State University College of Law in 2008. While attending law school, Mr. Gutschenritter served as an articles editor on the Business Law Review and received the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award for his volunteer work in the community.