Why Some Personal Injury Cases Go to Court

Why do some personal injury cases go to court while others settle at the negotiating table? Several factors can influence whether a personal injury claim moves to trial and why others don’t. When you are hurt due to the careless actions of another, you may have several options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and financial losses. One option is to file a claim with the at-fault individual’s insurance company. Other options include filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party of their insurer. Which option can produce the most favorable results for your situation depends on the unique circumstances of your situation.

At JJ Legal, we are committed to thoroughly reviewing every aspect of your case and helping you understand all legal avenues open to you. Even situations that start as personal injury claims can turn into personal injury lawsuits headed for trial. What factors influence whether you’ll see the inside of a courtroom? Following is some insight into the personal injury compensation recovery process.

Personal Injury Cases

Someone injured in an accident caused by the actions of a careless party has several viable options for seeking compensation for their injuries. Commonly, an injured individual turns to the at-fault party’s insurance company to compensate them for their financial losses. Seeking compensation from an insurer involves filing a personal injury claim.

Sometimes, an insurer won’t negotiate with an injured party or refuses to offer fair compensation. The injured person can file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer to recover the compensation they believe they deserve. In cases where an at-fault individual has no insurance, an injured person can file a personal injury lawsuit against that person to pursue the money they’re owed for the harm done to them.

Reasons Cases Settle Out of Court

Personal injury claims rarely make it to trial. Most personal injury claims are settled outside the courtroom. Why? Depending on the circumstances of the claim, it is much more time-consuming and costly to battle things out in court. Most parties should negotiate aggressively and settle without going to trial. Some of the most common reasons that personal injury cases settle out of court include:

  • One or both parties want to avoid the time and expense of a trial
  • The insurer believes a personal injury case against them will succeed in court
  • The settlement offer is fair and reasonable
  • The settlement offer would be on par with what the injured party would win in court
  • A settlement helps a client avoid the stress of going to trial and reliving the accident
  • One or both parties prefer confidentiality
  • It will take too long to get a trial date on the court’s calendar

Court battles can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. They are also public. Those who prefer confidentiality or want a quick resolution to their claim may benefit from working with an attorney to help them settle their personal injury claim out of court.  

Reasons to Take Your Case to Trial

There are specific situations where filing a personal injury lawsuit and moving forward with taking that case before the court offers an individual the best chance of obtaining the compensation they deserve. Reasons a personal injury case may go to trial include:

  • An individual believes they have a better chance of recovering all the compensation they deserve
  • The insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith
  • The insurance company fails to offer a reasonable settlement

An attorney can carefully review your case’s specifics and help determine whether moving forward with a trial to hold the liable party responsible is the best course of action.  

Factors that Can Impact Whether Your Case Settles or Moves to Trial

Numerous factors can also influence whether your claim moves from the negotiating table to the courtroom. Both sides must evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case to help them determine whether going to trial gives them the best chance at receiving a favorable outcome. Both sides must also evaluate whether moving to trial is worth the time and cost. Some of the factors that can impact whether a personal injury case goes to court or settles include:

  • Doubt about who was responsible for the accident
  • The cause of the accident
  • The severity of a victim’s injuries
  • The extent of a victim’s financial losses
  • The earning capacity of the victim following the accident
  • The victim’s age
  • The accident victim’s family situation

Other case-specific factors may determine whether your case settles or moves to trial. Discuss your goals and concerns with your attorney to ensure you understand all your legal options and which option offers you the best chance at recovering the money you need to move forward with your life.

Settling vs. Going to Court

Why Some Personal Injury Cases Go to Court

The most significant disadvantages of going to court over settling out of court are the time and cost of moving forward with a trial. Going to trial takes time and extensive preparation. However, the positive aspect of presenting your case in court can be a significantly large payout if your case is strong. Trials also carry a certain amount of risk, though. You may have a solid case, but there is always the potential that a judge or jury won’t see the situation similarly.

Negotiating and accepting a settlement offer before your case moves to trial means you get a quicker resolution and access to your money sooner than waiting for the conclusion of a trial and any potential appeals. Yet, accepting a settlement can sometimes mean you recover less money than you would if you took your case to trial and won.

An experienced attorney will take the time to review your situation with you and outline the pros and cons of every legal option available to you. Together, you can decide the course of action that best meets your needs.

Reach Out to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

When a careless party causes an accident, you deserve someone in your corner fighting for you. At JJ Legal, we have the skills and resources to help you navigate any situation that arises in a personal injury case, from investigating the cause of the accident to settlement negotiations to litigation.

Call our office at 312-200-2000 to set up a free legal consultation today for more information.

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