Why Is My Personal Injury Case Going To Trial?

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What Happens If My Personal Injury Case Goes to Trial?

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, you’ll likely be involved in a personal injury settlement or go to trial if a settlement can’t be reached. If your case does go to trial, there are a lot of factors that determine how the trial goes. There are also many different reasons why these cases go to trial, which we will go into detail on below.

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What Is An Injury Trial?

Personal injury trials are different from criminal trials although they do share some similarities. Injury trials will have either a bench trial with a judge making the decisions or have a jury that will determine the winner of the case and how much the settlement(if any) will be worth based on all of the information provided during the trial.
Other factors that will be used by the jury/judge to decide who gets what, is who was at fault for the accident. If you were more than 50% at fault for the accident, then you won’t be receiving a judgment because you were at least half responsible for what happened. However, if you were not responsible or only partially responsible, you will be awarded the percentage that was not your fault. For example if you were 0% at fault, you would receive the entire settlement amount. If you were 40% at fault, you would only receive 40% of the amount of damages. Your personal injury law professional will be able to help you determine if you were at fault or not so make sure you get a consultation from an attorney before proceeding with these types of legal matters.
The timeline for injury trials can be quick and can sometimes take months or more if the opposing party doesn’t want to settle or is not happy with having to pay the amount requested in the beginning. This can be typical when fighting insurance companies that are trying to keep their profits high, as they want to pay as little as possible across every case they have to pay for.
During the trial, each party will have a chance to explain their own perception of what happened that caused the accident, the outcomes of that accident and the injuries that were a result, the amount of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other monetary factors that need to be covered, any evidence proving what happened, testimonials from people close to the person that was injured and much more. These proceedings give each party a chance to tell their side of the story in an effort to make their case and prove that what they say actually did happen and why they deserve the settlement they are asking for.
Once each side has told their side of things, the jury or judge will think over what was presented and come to a decision on who was at fault, by how much and what settlement is fair for the injured party.

Difference Between Settlements and Trials

It is important to note that almost all personal injury claims are settled outside of court and will not go to trial. But when this isn’t the case, it is important to understand the differences.
A settlement is an agreement between the two parties involved that there was fault and that the at-fault party is agreeing to pay for damages caused by the accident. These can be structured as lump sum settlements or structured settlements, depending on the agreement made.
A trial is where the two parties disagree on the case and take it to the court room to let a judge or jury of peers decide who is entitled to what.
When the at-fault party doesn’t think they are at fault or they don’t agree with how much of a settlement amount you are requesting or various other factors, this is when things typically go to trial. This happens a lot when the fault is not easily determined or the compensation requested seems unreasonable.
When a case does go to trial, it doesn’t always work out in your favor. Sometimes it means there will be a lower payout for the injuries sustained, sometimes it means the case will be thrown out, sometimes it means there will be a much higher amount awarded.  At the end of the day, it’s up to the judge or jury to decide in these situations. The outcomes can vary greatly from one case to another and there are things outside of your attorney’s control when going to trial, so whenever possible, we try to settle the claim without going to trial if it minimizes the risk factor for your settlement.

Why Do Cases Go To Trial?

There are a lot of factors that determine if a case goes to trial. Some of the main ones are: difficulty proving fault, settlement amount is too high, the injured party is partially at fault, lack of evidence surrounding the case, details that don’t add up or seem unlikely, contradicting witness statements, plausible other causes of the accident and more.

When the at fault party is being sued for a large amount of money, it is in their nature to fight it and try to at the very least, get away with paying a lesser amount if possible, so when any of the factors listed above are present, you may find yourself taking the case to trial. This is especially common with insurance companies that have the resources to pay to go to trial instead of just settling like most individuals would likely do.

Reasons Your Case May Settle Before Trial

As mentioned before, almost all injury claims are settled and never have to go to trial. When the evidence is clear, there is no doubt of who is at fault and the compensation amount requested is a fair and provable amount of damages, then most times the case will be settled without much back and forth. When you have an excellent lawyer presenting your case and all of the facts properly during settlement negotiations, the chances of a favorable settlement are even greater. If you don’t have an attorney representing you, make sure you know what questions to ask before accepting a settlement.
Also, you should always make sure you have every supporting piece of information ready to present to the at fault party before beginning negotiations. Otherwise, you could be leaving money on the table or risking the case going to trial.

Get Help From An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

At Rector Stuzynski LLC, you can expect dedicated help from our staff through your entire personal injury claim process and detailed explanations of how the process works, what you need to be aware of and what our chances are of getting you a favorable settlement. With decades of experience handling these types of cases you can be sure that you are getting expert level help throughout your case. We have a long list of 5 star reviews as a testament to how much our clients love us. Don’t settle for less, settle for the best with Rector Stuzynski LLC. We offer free case consultations 24/7 over the phone or you can stop by our office in Colorado Springs, CO and speak directly with one of our lawyers.