Many cases are resolved through settlement before they reach trial. Settlements can be made from the time the case is filed up to the time it's heard in the courtroom. Generally, an insurance company finds it more advantageous to negotiate a settlement rather than incur the additional costs of a court hearing. For a plaintiff, an out-of-court settlement can be an opportunity to gain rightful compensation more quickly than if the case has to proceed through a court hearing. Cases can sometimes take years to settle through the courts, and particularly cases in which the issue of fault is not in dispute can benefit by negotiating an equitable settlement before trial. In a personal-injury case, the insurance company's adjuster generally proposes a settlement based on your actual damages as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Your attorney should inform you of any settlement offers that are made and can assist you in determining whether the offer is reasonable. However, the decision to accept or reject a settlement proposal is yours. Your attorney can help you evaluate any settlement proposals based on the strength of your case, the time and expense involved in a court trial, and the fairness of the offer. For more information about settlement options, consult your attorney.