The answer to this question is not an easy one to give. Some cases have clear liability such as a drunk driver running a stop sign. Others have clear evidence of injury such as broken bones. Some cases have contested liability and some injuries are disputed based on pre-existing similar health issues. Either way, for the injured claimant, the key to achieving justice is to have experienced counsel. If liability can be proven and damages demonstrated to flow from the negligent acts involved, the case should only be settled if a fair offer of settlement is made. If not, the case should be presented to a jury by a good Trial Lawyer. If liability is contested and damages difficult to prove, sometimes such a case has to be tried as well–particularly if the parties cannot reach a compromise on the value of the claim.
The facts drive a case but facts have to be established. Using depositions and discovery wisely and strategically can enhance the settlement value of a good case and sometimes turn a contested case into a strong one. The more experience counsel has, the more likely it is that facts can be marshaled to maximize the settlement value of any case.
The ultimate answer to the question posed therefore rests with the advice of experienced and competent counsel. Liability and damages can be assessed by experienced counsel who can then advise the client on what would constitute a fair settlement value for their case. If a fair offer is made the case can be settled, but if a low offer is made, the case should probably should be presented to a jury absent financial or other countervailing reasons.