Most personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Only about 3% of them ever go to trial. This is because most of these cases are settled out of court. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, your goal is to get compensated for your injuries. The insurance company will likely try to reach a settlement with you that is less than what you deserve. If they refuse a fair settlement, your case may go to trial.
If you have any questions about what action to take regarding your case, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. We offer free consultations to help you understand your options.
What Is a Trial?
A trial is a formal legal proceeding in which a judge or jury hears evidence and decides whether the person being sued (the defendant) is liable for the damages claimed by the person who filed the lawsuit (the plaintiff). If the defendant is found responsible, the judge or jury will also determine how much money the plaintiff should receive.
Timeline of a Trial
The length of the trial process depends on the circumstances of your case. However, all personal injury trial procedures follow six basic steps:
- Selecting and empaneling the jury
- Opening statements
- Witness testimony, examination, and cross-examination
- Closing arguments
- Jury deliberations
- Final verdicts
Pros and Cons of Going to Trial
There are advantages and disadvantages to going to trial. On the one hand, you may receive more money if you win your case at trial. Some juries award more than any defendant would agree to. Additionally, a public trial gives most clients closure and a sense of justice.
On the other hand, personal injury trials are time-consuming. The trial may take weeks or even months to complete. Trials are also expensive. A jury trial has considerable legal fees and court costs. If you lose your case, you will not receive any compensation for your injuries. It is also possible that you may go to trial and get less than the insurance company was willing to offer you in a personal injury settlement.
Why Would My Case Go to Trial?
There are several reasons why your personal injury case might go to trial. The most common reason is that the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement. If this happens, you and your attorney will decide whether or not to take your case to trial.
There are also cases where the insurance company or Defendant will not take responsibility for the accident, or even claim you were at fault. You will have to go to trial in that situation to prove the Defendant was the responsible party.
Another reason why your case might go to trial is if the defendant does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. In this case, you may file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant and take them to court to get the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. An attorney can help you decide whether or not to take your case to trial.
An experienced personal injury attorney will also be able to tell you what to expect from the trial process and help you prepare for it. If you have been injured in an accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation.
What Is a Settlement?
A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant to resolve a personal injury case without going to trial. If you settle with the insurance company, you will receive a lump sum in exchange for agreeing not to file a lawsuit or go to trial.
The defendant’s insurance company typically pays out settlements. However, in some cases, the defendant may agree to pay the payment directly.
Most personal injury cases settle before they go to trial. This is because both sides want to avoid the potential risk of a trial. It is possible that you could get less than the other side is offering you, as well as a risk that the other side might have to pay considerably more than you were willing to take in a settlement. In addition, there are significant expenses associated with a trial. It is possible that you could get a verdict for more than what the adverse party was offering you, but you still might end with less, after the trial expenses are deducted. It can also take years for a case to get to trial, and there is no guarantee that the plaintiff will win.
Should You Settle or Go to Trial?
You should always speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before deciding whether to settle or go to trial. They can help you understand the pros and cons of each option and make a decision that is in your best interests.
Contact An Washington, D.C. Experienced Personal Injury Attorney at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.