Will My Personal Injury Claim Go To Trial?

Personal injury claims are common occurrences that happen every day. They arise when an individual or entity is responsible for causing harm, injury, or damage to a victim. The victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries if the defendant is at fault.

When making a personal injury claim, the injured party and their attorney will typically begin negotiating with the insurance company or the defendant’s attorney. Often, a settlement is reached without ever having to litigate. However, there are cases where a trial becomes necessary to resolve the dispute.

Settlement vs. Trial

When negotiating a settlement, the plaintiff’s attorney and the defendant’s legal team will attempt to come to an agreement about a fair amount for compensation. This often involves negotiating back and forth to find common ground.

Settlements can happen at any time during the legal process, even during the trial itself. However, settlements are much more common than going to trial. The main advantages of settling are that the process is usually much quicker and less expensive. By comparison, a trial can take months or even years to resolve. Additionally, the outcome of a trial is never certain – a jury might award less than what the plaintiffs are willing to accept in settlement negotiations.

Thus, the decision to go to trial should be carefully weighed against the benefits of settling out of court.

When a Claim Goes To Trial

When your personal injury claim goes to trial, it is usually because either the plaintiff and the defendant cannot agree on a settlement figure, or the defendant refuses to accept liability altogether. When this occurs, both parties will present their case in court to a judge or jury.

During the trial, both sides will present evidence, including testimony from witnesses and any relevant documents. The plaintiff’s attorney will usually try to prove that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, while the defense’s lawyers will look to prove otherwise.

Before the trial begins, each side’s lawyers will conduct depositions and gather evidence to prepare their case. These efforts can be time-consuming and can take weeks or months to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.

The Jury’s Verdict

Once both sides have presented their cases, the jury will deliberate and come to a verdict. The verdict is the outcome of the case and is binding. This verdict can involve an award of compensation to the plaintiff, a dismissal of the case, or a determination that neither party is entitled to compensation.

If the plaintiff wins the verdict and is awarded compensation, the defendant will be required to pay the amount. The compensation might include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other damages as may be allowed under the law. In cases where the defendant is found to be particularly reckless or malicious, the jury may choose to award punitive damages as well.

Conclusion

Every personal injury case is unique, and it is important to remember that each case has its own set of circumstances that will determine whether or not it goes to trial. While some cases might be resolved through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, others will require litigation to resolve the dispute. Regardless of what happens, it is essential to have the representation of a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you rightly deserve.

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