You’ve been injured, and you’re looking to make it right. When someone’s negligence has disrupted your life — and maybe your livelihood — payments from a personal injury case can help you get beyond the trauma.
You might think the next step is a trial. But many people estimate personal injury cases go to trial less than 5% of the time. The rest of the time, people settle cases out of court.
Should you look for a settlement? Or should you fight in court?
The path you choose is important to your future. The personal injury attorneys at the Lachman & Gorton Law Office will discuss your best options for free.
To decide if you should settle your case, you need to determine whether the time, costs and risks of going to trial are worth it for you.
An experienced attorney knows how to weigh the potential benefits of going to trial against the drawbacks.
Here are the challenges of going to trial:
1) Trials are much slower than they appear on TV or in the movies.
Once your suit is filed, it could take years before you get a trial date. Depending on the severity of your injuries and your financial situation, that could be reason enough to settle.
While you wait, you’ll spend a lot of time going through a process called discovery. Each side will research the incident that led to your injury, gather documents and ask questions to get all the information they need.
Typically, the defense will try to wear you down by asking many questions or uncomfortably personal ones. They’re trying discredit your story. It can be an unpleasant experience.
2. Trials are expensive.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if and when you do.
That’s true if you settle your claim, or go to trial.
But for trials the costs get bigger. They include larger attorney contingency fees, costs for all the questioning to take depositions during the discovery process and fees for expert witnesses, if needed.
These and other costs of going to trial are subtracted from the amount you receive in the end.
3. Trials are risky.
When you settle, you agree to a set amount of compensation. That amount is guaranteed.
When you go to trial, anything can happen.
You could get more money than you expected. You could also get much less. In the worst-case scenario, you could owe more than you recover.
Your attorney can help determine what’s the right course of action for you.
In certain situations, a trial might be your best option.
If you and the responsible party cannot agree on certain facts about the incident that caused your injury — or the defendant is simply not willing to offer a fair amount — going to trial could get you more money.
When you go to trial, having an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial.
An attorney who has handled numerous similar situations knows how to build your strategy.
When you’re hurting and you need to regain control of your life, the lawyers at Lachman & Gorton can help you decide whether to settle, or go to court.