Most personal injury claims are resolved through a settlement before going to trial. However, sometimes a trial becomes necessary to pursue the full value of a case. Learn more about why some claims may go to trial and why others may not.
When a case is settled, both sides come to an agreement that they believe favors them. If the case moves to trial, a jury will decide which party should win the case.
A major reason why most personal injury cases settle is that both parties recognize the risk of losing by proceeding to trial. A trial could result in the defendant being ordered to pay a higher amount of compensation than what the two sides might agree upon in negotiations.
Conversely, a trial could result in the case being dismissed without compensation being awarded to the victim, despite medical bills and missing time at work due to the injury. The plaintiff also has the burden of proving their case through presenting evidence to the jury.
There can be advantages to settling a personal injury claim out of court:
If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may advise you to move forward to trial.
The move to the courtroom will not be immediate. A trial date will be set, likely for months later. Sometimes, the defendant will reach out with a settlement offer while waiting for the trial date to approach.
There are many steps in a trial. After the jury has been selected, both sides will present their opening statements.
Evidence will then be presented by both attorneys. Witnesses will be asked to testify. You may be called to testify by your own attorney.
Once both sides have presented their cases, closing arguments will be issued by both attorneys. Then, the jury will be excused to begin deliberations, which could take anywhere from hours to months.
The verdict that is issued could either be in favor of you or the other party, or a mistrial could be declared.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The Sacramento personal injury attorneys at The Arnold Law Firm have a proven record of obtaining compensation via a settlement or court decision.