Car accident cases can be full of stress and confusion if you're unfamiliar with personal injury claims. Whether or not to go to trial is always a decision that belongs to the client. However, very few cases actually go to trial. In fact, most cases settle without a lawsuit ever being filed.
Going to trial has its pros and cons.
- You get your day in court and get factual determinations on fault and damages. Even if you lose, you have pursued your case about as far as possible and you now know what 12 jurors think about the evidence. There is some satisfaction in actually going all the way to see what a jury thinks.
- You have the possibility of getting more than what has been offered, if offers have been made. There are very few "run away" verdicts where you get everything you ask for, but some people benefit by going to trial and turning down a bad offer from an insurance company and actually gain monetarily.
- You can make a statement to the public about the wrongdoing of the negligent party. Once in a while, you even get publicity (though this is not often the case).
- You get to see and participate in the American civil justice system. Going all the way to trial is a great learning experience on how the jurisprudence system works.
- You take the risk of losing, either on fault or getting a low damage award.
- It is expensive to go all the way to trial, and your lawyer will deduct the expense that is incurred to go to trial. Some expert witnesses or treating physicians can charge thousands to show up to testify.
- It takes a long time to get to trial. After filing the lawsuit, you are generally looking at a minimum of 9 months to get to trial, and sometimes much longer. You lose the time value of money and if you had settled earlier, you potentially could have put your money to good use.
- Trial takes great effort. To win, you have to work hard including preparation at each stage of the litigation. If you don't work hard preparing, your chances of success are greatly decreased.
- There is always uncertainty regarding what the jury will do and think.
The decision on whether or not to go to trial needs to be based on solid legal advice from an experienced, reputable attorney who has high morals and integrity. If you do not wish to go to trial, don't worry, as we can help you get a fair settlement without the intimidation and uncertainty of having to litigate. However, we will go to trial if that is in your best interests! We have years of experience to help you maximize your case value either way.
Call Brian and Brian at Pistotnik Law to discuss what is right for you and your case.