Going To Trial vs. Settling In A Personal Injury Case

August 22, 2022

Going To Trial vs. Settling In A Personal Injury Case's article image

Since each and every personal injury case is unique, the outcomes and proceedings of each case will be similarly unique to the specific situation and circumstances of each case. However, many personal injury claims end up being settled outside of court and a trial. That being said, if both parties are unable to reach a resolution outside of the courtroom, a trial may be necessary.

Going To Trial For Your Personal Injury Claim

Contrary to what Hollywood may portray, participating in a trial can be a very tedious process that can take up a lot of time and resources. As such, the majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom by the plaintiff (the person who was injured and is seeking compensation) and the defendant (the person being sued or, more likely, his insurance company).

However, in cases where the plaintiff and defendant are unable to come to a fair resolution, going to trial becomes the only option to have the case decided. The trial process is generally made up of the following components:

  • - Opening Statements: This is the time for lawyers to outline to the judge or jury the evidence that they are expected to hear from the testifying witnesses.
  • - Plaintiff Evidence and Witnesses: This is when the injured party would recount their injuries and the ways in which their life has been altered due to the injury. Friends, family, co-workers, and health care professionals may also provide their testimony on how the injury has impacted the quality of life of the Plaintiff. Additionally, this is when specific evidence like photos can be shown to the jury. The Defendant’s lawyers will have the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses.
  • - Defendant Evidence and Witnesses: The same process will be completed for the Defendant’s side.
  • - Closing Arguments: This is the time for lawyers to make their final arguments to persuade the jury to their side of the trial, based on the evidence presented in the trial.
  • - Jury Deliberation: This is when the jury will work towards coming to a unanimous decision on the trial to determine the final verdict. If the trial proceeds without a jury, the judge will be responsible for rendering a written decision, which usually takes many months to prepare, unlike a jury, which will be asked to decide the case right away without providing detailed written reasons.

Settling Your Personal Injury Claim Outside Of Court

Alternatively, settling your personal injury claim outside of court can allow both parties to remain in control of the decisions made and outcome. Settlements can be reached at any point in time, however, they are often reached at a mediation, at a pre-trial conference, or during negotiations following the discovery process.

  • - Mediation: Mediation is a type of informal conflict dispute process that includes a neutral third-party to act as a mediator and facilitate discussion between the parties. Mediation can help to build open communication, even if a settlement is not reached.
  • - Pre-Trial Conference: A pre-trial conference includes a judge or another court official to facilitate a discussion between both parties. Like mediation, this process can help both parties communicate their arguments and give them the opportunity to reach a settlement together. If parties are unable to come to a resolution, further court proceedings will be sought out.

An Experienced Legal Team Can Help

If you have been injured and are seeking compensation for damages, a personal injury lawyer can help. The team at Beckett specializes in motor vehicle accidents, insurance claims, sexual abuse claims, long term care negligence, and slip and fall accidents. Our team can help explain your options and guide you through the process of getting the compensation for damages that you deserve.

Beckett lawyers are ready to help you through your unique case and fight for justice. If you're ready to take the next step, reach out to Beckett today or fill out our contact us form for a free case evaluation.

Published on August 22, 2022

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