Will my Personal Injury Case go to Trial
There are always many questions surrounding a personal injury claim, one of the most common of which is “Will my personal injury case go to trial?” The uncertainty surrounding this question can sometimes lead to injured parties not obtaining an attorney. Some injured victims are intimidated by the process and prospect of going to Court. However, the truth is that most personal injury cases are settled out of court, especially if an insurance company is involved, for many different reasons. Trials can be risky, expensive, and unsettling. Since the whole idea of lawsuits and trials is very stressful for both parties, settlements are typically reached before a lawsuit is filed, shortly after the filing of a lawsuit through a process known as mediation, or in some instances during the trial sometime before a verdict is reached.
When someone is injured in an accident, they can collect money damages through 2 separate outcome driven processes known as Pre-litigation and Litigation.
- Pre-Litigation: Your Attorney files a claim with the person’s insurance who caused the accident, important case supporting documents are put together, numerous experts are hired, and author written reports, the lawyers submit a lengthy legal document known as a settlement demand and the lawyers negotiate the claim on behalf of their clients.
- Litigation: The injured party files a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the crash, the parties engage in a fact gathering process called the discovery phase which can lead the exchange of under-oath written questions and answers known as interrogatories, the parties can exchange under-oath depositions, and the matter ultimately resolves at mediation or at trial through a verdict determined by a jury.
Insurance companies have the money to pay out claims and are prepared to do so as a part of their normal business practices, but a trial is an expense they prefer to avoid due to the legal fees involved regardless of the outcome. Because they have no control over the outcome, they would prefer to have some input regarding the settlement process and negotiation of the injury claim rather than to leave it in the hands of a jury. In many cases, a sympathetic jury can award a plaintiff very large money damages for pain and suffering, often far exceeding what the insurance company would have offered in the way of a settlement. However, juries can also award very limited damages to injured claimants. The process is often unpredictable and either side must consider the risks associated with going to Court. Therefore, the parties often avoid trial through negotiating away the risk in exchange for a mutually agreeable settlement of the claim.
In a trial, a jury decides what is fair and just compensation for your losses; in a settlement situation, the insurance company offers an amount they hope you will accept, but are notorious for offering too little and trying to take advantage of unrepresented injured claimants who don’t know their rights. It is in their best interest to persuade you to settle for as little as possible, which is usually not in your best interest. That’s why you need a lawyer in your corner to fight for you. The trial process can be lengthy as well as stressful, which is another reason settlements are often reached. Since most cases don’t begin trial proceedings until potentially 2 years after the initial claim was filed, and the litigation phase may drag on for 9-12 months, it is not unusual for both sides to attempt to reach a settlement as quickly as reasonably possible. If you have suffered injuries that prevent you from earning a living or have large medical bills, you may not be in a position to wait years to be awarded damages by a jury, and as mentioned earlier, the insurance company will want to avoid both the large legal fees involved in a trial, and a jury award that may be much larger than expected. The lawyers at Whalen Hersh will expedite this process by aggressively advocating for you early on to frame the important issues that lead to maximized settlement results.
- Determining your long-term prognosis and assessing the impact of the injuries and damages;
- Working with doctors and medical experts to understand your future injury needs;
- Identifying medical and wage related damages that can be calculated against the defendant;
- Hiring medical injury causation experts to strengthen the relatedness of the injuries to the case;
- Pursuing the defendant’s bad conduct and liability for causing the accident.
A settlement also offers both sides a level of privacy that a trial does not. In a settlement, the details of the case can be kept private, along with the settlement amount. In a trial, the details become public record, which may not be desirable for either party involved. If a settlement is reached, both parties can move forward, and the plaintiff does not have to wait unreasonably long to receive fair compensation. Therefore, settlements are often in the best interest of both parties.
If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached or no offer is made, your personal injury claim may go to trial. If that is the case, a jury will decide what constitutes adequate compensation for your loss after hearing from both sides. This is where it is vital that you are represented by a knowledgeable attorney who can help you navigate the process and argue effectively on your behalf in front of a jury. The team of skilled attorneys at Whalen Hersh exclusively represents clients against insurance companies and corporations in personal injury matters. We have represented many accident victims over the years and recovered over $25 million for our clients.
Past Case Results
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers fighting for their best interest, and you deserve to have a team fighting for yours. At Whalen Hersh, we have the resources and courtroom experience to thoroughly represent you in a personal injury case. Our goal is to help ensure you receive adequate, fair, full compensation for any losses you may have suffered. At Whalen Hersh, our attorneys are ready to provide you with the best representation available in pursuing a legal claim. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case and consider your legal options, moving forward.
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers fighting for their best interest, and you deserve to have a team fighting for yours. At Whalen Hersh, we have the resources and courtroom experience to thoroughly represent you in your personal injury case. Our goal is to help ensure you receive adequate, fair, full compensation for any losses you may have suffered. At Whalen Hersh, our attorneys are ready to provide you with the best representation available in pursuing a legal claim. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case and consider your legal options, moving forward.