Each personal injury case is unique, but most are settled before going to trial. The parties involved usually want to avoid the hassle of a trial, which motivates them to reach a settlement.
However, some factors make going to trial more likely, such as severe injuries or complicated cases where no agreement can be reached.
When Parties Are More Willing to Settle
Your case may settle out of court because:
- Settling costs less than going to trial
- Your injuries are straightforward or not catastrophic
- There is little to no dispute about the injury’s cause
- Settlement negotiations seem fair and reasonable
- Parties can control the payout instead of a judge or jury
Cases where there is a clear liable party, less severe injuries, and sufficient evidence for the victim are likely to settle. Insurance companies know their way around the law and can recognize when they will not win a case at trial.
Moreover, going to trial means giving up control, both for the liable party and victims. While settlement negotiations may require substantial debate, all parties are involved in the agreement. If your case goes to trial, the decision is left up to a judge or jury, who not only decide who is liable but how much is awarded in damages.
Settling Is Typically More Ideal
Settling is often in everyone’s best interest, even if it means an insurance company or negligent party must pay. It’s better than being ordered by the court to pay an amount over which they have no control, on top of legal and court fees.
Filing a Lawsuit Doesn’t Mean Going to Trial
Personal injury cases go through several stages before filing a lawsuit, let alone taking that lawsuit to trial. Our team can help negotiate before filing, potentially reaching an agreement before taking that step.
In fact, the statute of limitations provides time to potentially settle before filing. In New York, you generally have three years from the date your injury occurred to file, though some cases can have a shorter window (NY CVP § 214). We can use that time to gather evidence, understand your injuries, and negotiate.
When Your Injuries Are Severe, Complex, or Nuanced
What may cause your personal injury case to go to trial is a serious injury. The reason? Money. The other party will know that they need to pay more for such injuries and will be motivated to challenge your claims in court.
Thus, your case may go to trial if it involves:
- Severe injuries
- Chronic conditions
- Psychological or emotional injuries
- Non-economic damages
For instance, according to Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can manifest in many different ways, from affecting memory to causing depression. The negligent party will be eager to avoid paying TBI’s high costs, and may do so by disputing claims of depression, diminished earning capacity, or pain and suffering.
In other words, although it may be challenging to dispute medical records and bills, the other party may still try to dispute your pain, whether physical, psychological, or emotional. They fight harder when the stakes are higher, resulting in a higher chance of going to trial.
When You Cannot Reach an Agreement
While many unique aspects to your case could lead to a stalemate, some common ones are:
Insurance adjusters do not want to pay for your injuries. Consequently, their settlement terms will be structured around saving money, not meeting your needs.
This difference in priorities can become insurmountable if an insurance company doesn’t budge from an inadequate settlement offer. They may try to draw out the process, hoping to exhaust your patience and resources.
When a personal injury case goes to trial over settlement terms, it could be due to:
- Lowball offers
- Pressure to settle quickly
- Unfair or unreasonable treatment
- Stalling tactics
- Unwillingness to negotiate
If the other party shows no interest in modifying their terms, it may be time to take the next step.
When our personal injury team assigns a value to your case, we consider several factors:
- Medical costs
- Mental health
- Future losses
Your settlement should acknowledge every consequence of the injury, in every area of your life.
By contrast, insurance adjusters typically want to settle fast, sometimes even before you know all the consequences, and for less than your case is worth. Disagreements can arise over whether you deserve to be compensated for losing the ability to play an instrument or because you can no longer take long walks.
Arguments over claim value can sometimes only be resolved by an impartial judge or jury.
One classic way of avoiding paying a settlement is to blame someone else. Cases involving several parties could result in everyone pointing fingers at each other. You might even have the finger pointed at you, blamed for causing your own injuries.
If your case devolves into finger-pointing, going to trial can help clarify who should be held liable based on the evidence.
Why the Other Party Is Willing to Go to Trial
The burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit is on the injured party – you. Negligent parties and insurance companies know this. The more complicated a case or severe an injury, the more evidence you need to produce.
Fortunately, the team at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. can gather that evidence on your behalf. To prepare for going to trial, we interview witnesses, compile medical records, consult experts, and construct a plan to fight for your damages.
We Have Personal Injury Trial Experience
Our previous clients have spoken highly of our trial preparation and execution with several testimonials:
- “I want to thank Rosenberg & Gluck and Staff For the way they handled my case. Everything went just as they said it would. They are very good at what they do and they are honest. I highly recommend them.” – Steve G.
- “Meticulously going through every detail, I really thought that they made the difference between losing and winning. And I received a large award for my injuries in an auto accident.” – Carlos M.
Get Information Now About Settling vs. Going to Trial
A team member can evaluate your case to determine the best path to compensation. Whether your personal injury case goes to trial or settles out of court, Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. is by your side throughout the entire process and can assist in English or Spanish. Get a free consultation today.