The answer to the question “Do personal injury lawyers go to court?” depends on many factors. This includes the impact of injury, the timeframe, the cost, and the compensation you get.
Defining Personal Injury:
When a person’s body, mind, or emotions are harmed due to another person’s negligence, carelessness, or wrongful action, it is known as personal injury. Personal injury law is also known as Tort law. Personal injury occurs in the following various situations:
Personal injury laws apply in cases where someone behaves negligently, causing injury to another person. Medical negligence and car crashes are some examples.
- Intentional Action:
Personal injury rules apply when a defendant’s purposeful behavior causes harm to other people.
Assault and battery, as well as other deliberate torts, are examples of this.
Personal injury statutes apply when one person’s defamatory comment causes harm to another.
- Damaged Products:
Anyone damaged by car components, consumer goods, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or other faulty or unreasonably harmful products may be eligible to launch a professional liability case against the maker.
Settlement vs. Trial:
There is a choice of negotiating a settlement or going to trial in a personal injury lawsuit. Many sorts of accidents, such as vehicle accidents, medical negligence, and slip and fall accidents, are settled out of court. However, going to trial in certain situations can be beneficial.
A lawsuit settlement is the official conclusion of a dispute before it goes to court. Settlements can be reached at any time during prosecution, and many instances can be settled before such a legal case goes to court. Claims can indeed be settled the day before, or perhaps even the day of, the lawsuit.
First, the plaintiff’s counsel files a demand letter. The demand letter comprises the monetary damages sought by the plaintiff, the legal reasoning supporting that demand, and copies of supporting documents such as medical expenses and police reports. Afterwards, the defense counsel replies to the demand letter. Occasionally, a counter-offer is presented.
Now an attorney and an insurance company will begin to bargain. Phone conversations and emails between attorneys and pre-trial hearings can resolve small matters and influence the trial. Before coming to trial, the defendant and plaintiff will usually strike an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. When the parties reach an agreement, they sign a written settlement agreement that contains a release of obligation.
What Exactly Is A Trial?
Whenever a personal injury case goes to court, the parties involved debate their arguments in front of a judge or jury, who will decide whether or not the defendant should be held responsible for the plaintiff’s losses.
A jury trial is divided into six stages:
- Putting together the jury
- Making the opening remarks
- Cross-examination of the witnesses
- Arguments for closure
- Jury instructions
- Jury deliberation and decision
A personal injury trial might last only a few hours or several weeks. Trials that take only a few hours, however, need an amazing amount of preparation on the part of the attorneys.
Is Settlement Better Than Trial?
There are numerous reasons why you should settle out of court; however, there are various reasons why you must not. Well, we will look at a few:
- Settlements are significantly faster than trials. On average, a settlement would need three to six months to complete. Trials take a long time. The procedure might take months or years to complete.
When the injury costs you much money in medical bills, you might not be patient enough to wait that long. Trials can also be psychologically exhausting since they require you to recall your experience again for an extended length of time. With a settlement, you may take your money, leave the issue behind you, and move on with your life.
- In a settlement, the plaintiff and the lawyer are in command and ask for a suitable amount of claim as per their will. Whereas, in a trial, you must accept the decision of the jury or the judge.
- There is a possibility that you will obtain enormous pain and suffering compensation in a trial that you could receive in a settlement, but this is not guaranteed. If the jury or the judge rules against you, you may be left with nothing. The lawyer then negotiates with the insurance company.
- In the minimal number of personal injury cases that proceed to trial, around 90% are resolved, favoring the defendant. One major reason for this is that insurance companies devote more than $3 billion annually to advertising to portray themselves as your “good host” and personal injury claimants as money-grubbing fraudsters. This has a strong effect on juries. The insurance company’s attorneys will likewise try to portray the plaintiff in the worst possible light.
- The longer a lawsuit is pending, the more legal fees and court costs accrue. Going to trial is highly costly. If you lose in the trial, you may be required to pay the other party’s court fees.
When the Trial Becomes Compulsory?
People do not like to go for trials because of the long duration of the proceeding. And if you have sustained serious injuries that need lengthy medical treatment, you’ll need money to meet your medical bills, particularly if you’re out of a job. Luckily, many cases may go through the judicial system swiftly, especially with the assistance of an expert attorney.
However, there is always the possibility that the defendant and their attorneys may try to prolong the proceedings. If the case is clear and the proof is strong, it may just take a few months.
However, if you seek a certain sum of money or it is more difficult to show carelessness in your case, the trial might last a year or even more. The insurance company may refuse to make reasonable compensation in some cases. If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, a trial may be the only way to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Usually, the personal injury lawyer does not go to the court and attempts a settlement only, as it is the most convenient option. Legal proceedings shall only be approached if the lawyer fails to make any settlement out of the courtroom.
If you have suffered personal injury and wonder whether you should go for a settlement or a trial and whether this will benefit you, you can contact Philadelphia Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.