Personal Injury Law News

Why is it important to hire an attorney who is willing to go to trial?

Monday, February 12, 2018

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the difference between a settlement and a trial. A settlement is an agreement between the parties resolving their conflict where the injured person agrees to accept a certain amount of money in compensation for their injury in exchange for a complete release (giving up their right to sue). A trial is what you’re likely familiar with from television shows like Law & Order. It is the legal process by which fault and compensation are determined by a judge or jury.

Settlement versus Trial

Although it is difficult to determine definitively, national statistics suggest that 95-96 percent of all personal injury claims are settled and never go to trial. The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlement and not by a trial.

This means that, at some point in the process, the parties were able to come to an agreement amongst themselves—though the person harmed, the person who caused the harm and the insurance agency involved may all have different reasons for wanting an out-of-court settlement.

The most common reason to settle is the risk, time and expense associated with trials. Trials take months of pretrial work and the process can drag on for years at a time.

Trials normally require the testimony of expert witnesses, which means expert and lay witness fees must be paid. Importantly, trial is no sure thing. They can go either way, and no experienced lawyer will guarantee you a result.

The desire to receive fair compensation and the need to do it affordably creates a need for experienced personal injury counsel. The more prepared for trial you are, the less likely you are to go to trial.

Why are most personal injury cases settled before trial?

There are several intermediate steps between filing suit and conducting a personal injury trial. Depositions must be taken and medical and accident reports obtained. The stronger your claim in these early stages, the more likely a fair settlement will eventually be obtained.

In other words, an experienced lawyer who has carefully prepared the claim is more likely to achieve a fair result.

Opposing counsel (the lawyers for the other side—normally, insurance company attorneys) can tell when documents aren’t logically organized, arguments aren’t well researched and when the claimant’s attorney generally appears unprepared.

Your lawyer should take the time and effort to fully prepare your personal injury claim. Despite the legal fees, your settlement will likely be much higher than if you simply settled without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Experience and knowledge make a difference

Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman understand these basic principles and prepare every case as though it will go to trial.

We will do the hard work necessary to either prevail at trial or negotiate the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman can help pursue your case.