ANSWER: Statistically, most cases settle without the need for a trial. However, a good attorney can never afford to assume a case is going to settle. Cases pursued vigorously in preparation for trial give the client the best chance for a fair settlement. If the case does not settle, you need an attorney who is willing to take your case to trial, and who has prepared as if that is going to happen.
Cases frequently settle only after a lot of work has been done. Through “discovery” each side has an opportunity to learn things about the opposing side’s case. Once both sides feel they have enough information to fully evaluate the value of the case, settlement can be discussed. Sometimes that can happen within a few months, but quite often the process takes many months. A court may order the parties to “mediation” or some other form of “alternate dispute resolution.” These are essentially more formal procedures for settling your case.
Remember, you are the client, and we never settle a case without the client’s approval.