From a plaintiff's point of view, the advantages or disadvantages of going to trial must be weighed in light of the proximity of the defendant or insurance company's settlement offer to the value of the case. The lower a defendant's offer relative to the plaintiff's evaluation of the case, the easier it is to refuse the offer and go to trial. If, on the other hand, a defendant's offer is close to or higher than the plaintiff's attorney's prediction of what a jury will do if the case tries, then it becomes a much more risky proposition to go to trial.
The benefit of settling a case short of trial is that all risk is avoided. As anyone who has followed trials knows, what a jury will do in a given case is totally unpredictable and, therefore, going to trial is always a risk.