According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than 2 million people are injured each year from motor vehicle crashes.” Tragic accidents happen every day, and when injuries are sustained as a result, you may consider filing a personal injury claim that could require a trial to take place.
“Will my case go to trial?” is a question personal injury clients tend to ask. Whether it’s a dog bite injury, car accident, or slip and fall case, the majority of injury claims will settle before reaching the courtroom. However, if your case is particularly complex or has difficulty settling, it may require a trial to sort out the details and bring your case to a close.
Our lawyers have put together a guide of everything you need to know if your Colorado Springs personal unjust case goes to trial. Keep reading!
The Difference Between a Trial and a Settlement
After an injury, a person can collect compensation for any damages and injuries they may have suffered due to someone else’s negligence. A settlement takes place when the defendant’s insurer and the plaintiff have agreed upon an amount for compensation.
A key thing to remember is that a settlement offer can be made after your case has gone to trial, before the lawsuit is filed, or even while the jury is deliberating over the case.
Civil lawsuits can result in the injured individual receiving more money, but it’s riskier and more stressful for both the defendant (the insurance company of the person who caused the injury) and the plaintiff (the person who was injured and is seeking a settlement). That is why a settlement is more likely to be reached before a trial becomes necessary.
Why Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?
Most insurance companies want to settle a case before reaching court for multiple reasons. One of the main reasons is money. The insurance company is a business whose main goal is to make a profit.
Insurance companies know how expensive legal fees can be. If they go to court, they can’t control the final outcome or the amount they will have to pay. If they are able to settle, they will have more room to negotiate their payout. In a courtroom, the jury would have control over the amount they would have to pay.
A settlement can be beneficial to the plaintiff because it can shorten the time they have to wait for financial compensation compared to trial cases that can take years to reach a verdict.
If your injury case is going to trial, you need one of our attorneys to stand beside you and ensure your case is accurately presented. Our firm handles cases involving injuries, and we have the skills and resources to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Preparing To Go to Trial
Listed below are suggestions to help you prepare in the event that your case goes to trial:
Privacy is Diminished in Court
The information about your injuries, the accident, and your case will be openly discussed in front of a judge and jury if your case goes to trial.
The Process May Be Confusing
There are a wide variety of components that make up an injury case, and it can quickly get confusing if you are not familiar with the processes. Negotiations, deadlines, and hearings can be a lot to take in, but consulting a local Colorado Springs personal injury attorney can help you better understand the process and take on many of the stresses for you.
Communicate with Your Lawyer
If you’re confused during any part of the process, you should always ask questions. At Heuser & Heuser LLP, our accident attorneys are willing to answer any questions you may have. Communication with your attorney is an important key to successful injury cases.
The Disadvantages of Going to Trial
- It’s Risky – Going to trial can be a major risk because you could receive less compensation for your injuries if the jurors find you partly at fault for the accident, they conclude your injuries are not serious, or they don’t believe your testimony.
- It’s Expensive – Trials are more expensive due to legal expenses such as filing fees and administrative fees which can add up quickly.
- It’s Time Consuming – Trials can be lengthy and can put on the pressure when medical bills are adding up and you’re waiting to receive compensation to cover your expenses.
Are There Alternatives to Trial?
Between your lawyer and the defendant’s legal representation, sometimes it can be challenging to agree upon a personal injury settlement. Thankfully, there are some alternatives to help you avoid an expensive and time-consuming trial such as:
- Mediation. This involves a third party, known as a mediator, and is meant to help both parties reach an agreement.
- Arbitration. This is a third party that remains neutral, known as an arbitrator, that decides how the case should be solved.
Types of Compensation Awarded
Compensation is meant to help a person with their road to recovery by covering expenses for injuries and damages they’ve suffered. Although there are a variety of compensatory damages, each can be categorized into two types, general and special damages.
Special damages are intended to cover monetary expenses that can include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of earnings
- Household expenses
- Cost of future medical expenses
General damages are meant to compensate non-monetary damages including:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Wrongful death cases differ from the usual personal injury case, and they have different types of compensation. Wrongful death damages can include:
- Loss of financial contribution
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Expenses of medical care before death occurred
Contact an Attorney Who Has Experience in the Courtroom
We know how stressful and overwhelming it can be to have your case go to trial. At Heuser & Heuser LLP, our years of experience representing lawsuits in court have equipped us to handle future cases with confidence. Our trial lawyers strive to help you or a loved one recover the compensation you deserve. Whether it’s a motorcycle accident, auto accident, or another accident that caused your injuries, we can help.