Will My Personal Injury Case End Up In Trial?
There may be a stigma that all personal injury cases will end up in trial. You may have a solid personal injury case and envisage having to continually be in court where a jury will determine the fate of your case over a potentially extended period. But this isn’t always true. Not all cases require a trial. A majority of cases are settled through negotiations, mediation or arbitration. It’s also important to note that there’s no one particular type of case that ends up in trial. Many factors can play into whether or not your case ends up in trial.
Reasons Your Case May Not Require Trial
If you have a personal injury claim against another individual or entity, your personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement with their insurer over the phone. If it’s obvious that you weren’t at fault for your injuries and that you are actively pursuing treatment, insurance companies may agree to a fair settlement that covers your injury-related expenses.
It’s also important to note that a trial is expensive. Place your trust in your personal injury attorney. They’ll have a well-defined idea of how your case may play out in trial. If they feel you may end up with less compensation by taking your case to trial, and that the settlement the insurance company is offering you is fair, they may suggest you take that settlement.
Mediation and arbitration, two forms of Alternative Dispute Resolutions, are becoming an extremely popular alternatives to trial as well. It’s a much less expensive and less time-consuming process than trial. A mediator will try to help facilitate an agreement on a settlement. However, decisions made in mediation are not binding. If an individual feels that the decision made in their mediation is not fair, they can still choose to seek further compensation through an alternative route, such as trial. Arbitration is very similar to mediation. However, in an arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision on settlement is binding, the case is settled and can no longer be taken to trial even if one or both parties feel the decision is unfair.
Reasons Your Case May Require Trial
There are times when you and your attorney disagree with the percentage of liability. The defendant’s insurer may claim that you are 70% responsible for your injuries when you and your attorney feel strongly that you are less responsible, and therefore entitled to more compensation for your losses. If an agreement cannot be made on liability, your case may require trial.
Sometimes an insurance company will argue that an injury is not related to your accident. Say, for example, your personal injury claim is regarding a back injury from a car accident. However, you’ve had problems with your back in the past. An insurance company may deny any payout, claiming that your back injury was not connected to or exacerbated by your accident and therefore, they should not have to pay out.
There are also instances in which you agree on liability, but the insurance company refuses to pay out the settlement you and your personal injury attorney are seeking for your losses.
In these cases, your case may require a trial in order for you to receive the full compensation you are entitled to. At Palermo Law, we go the distance for our clients, whether or not their case requires a trial.