Injury Cases: Settlement Vs. Trial
You’re injured? Fortunately, Texas law provides protection for people that are injured as a result of someone else’s fault. . From slip and fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death, dog attacks, and work related injuries to auto accidents – thousands of lawsuits have to be filed in Texas, many times because insurance companies will not offer a fair settlement/compensation to injury victims.
So what is a personal injury claim? First and foremost, someone has to have contributed to or caused the injury/accident, whether directly or indirectly (by negligence or carelessness).
So do you have a case? Should you try to negotiate on your own? If you do, could it or should it go to trial?
There are pros and cons to both Trial and Settlement, keep on reading to find out the basics.
Benefits of Settlement
If you hire an attorney your attorney will use his or her experience and abilities to negotiate the best possible settlement offer from the other party (also known as the “defendant”) or their insurance company. Why should you settle?
*It’s could be less risky than heading to court (you could lose and get zero)
**It’s less expensive (less time on the part of the attorney/law firm, along with other court costs)
**It’s less time consuming and you can resolve the case quicker, whereas trials can drag out over a year or more
**It’s not as hard on the plaintiff and/or their loved ones – not as emotionally and physically draining as a trial in court
**Get your life back to normal sooner/ Move on sooner
So personal injury attorneys will often suggest a reasonable settlement rather than a trial. A settlement means you are getting a check – it’s a sure thing.
Consider that it takes months, a year, or longer for a court date to become available and the trial to take place. And you have no idea how the jury will react to evidence, who they will believe or what they will think—it is a risky undertaking to convince a jury of whether you should receive compensation in a case. After months of court litigation, you could potentially end up with a big fat ZERO.
Attorneys will evaluate your personal situation
Your personal injury attorney should review all the details of your settlement with you and help you decide if it is the right choice. They carefully evaluate your claim and the case that the defendant has. In conjunction with the other side’s attorney, a settlement offer will be determined and then it is up to you to accept, or reject, that offer.
Always do your research and select a skilled personal injury attorney with a good track record. Do your homework and make sure the law firm you choose has handled cases like yours, successfully.
But note that even the most experienced lawyers sometimes need outside help, and they may consult mediators or facilitators to help resolve a settlement. Sometimes mediation fails of course, and sometimes insurance companies WANT their customer to go to trial.
Benefits of a Trial
**Possibility of receiving a higher/the highest possible amount for your claim
**A chance to document all details of your claim (for the record)
**The ability to appeal the decision
YES you could get MORE MONEY if you win in court, but legal costs are higher, too. It’s a tough decision and must be made carefully. However, if your lawsuit involves a severe injury or a tragic death, you should most likely choose trial over settling.
Be sure that your personal injury law firm discloses the potential costs and fees up front, and trust that you have made the right legal choice, with help from a wise legal counselor.