Did you know that the majority of personal injury cases never make it to trial? In fact, it’s estimated that over 90% of cases settle before reaching the courtroom.
However, every case is unique, especially when it comes to car wrecks.
Severe injuries, such as spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and internal organ damage, can have long-lasting effects that may not be immediately apparent. Unfortunately, insurance companies often overlook the full impact of these injuries. They fail to consider how your overall quality of life has been affected, the challenges you face during daily tasks, or the crippling anxiety you may experience when you get behind the wheel.
When it comes to recovering from serious injuries after a car crash, going to trial may be the only way to make an insurance company take your claim seriously. With a skilled personal injury attorney by your side, you can show an insurance bully that you won’t settle for less and make sure that all aspects of your injury are considered.
When does a personal injury case usually need to go to trial?
A personal injury trial is typically seen as a last resort, with most cases settling outside of court. However, there are instances where going to trial becomes necessary, especially if an insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement for your injury.
Several factors can determine whether your case goes to trial, including the severity of your injury and the evidence you’ve gathered.
Securing a fair settlement for catastrophic injuries, such as head or spinal cord injuries, can be challenging. Insurance companies often undervalue the harm you suffered and fail to consider the extensive medical bills, physical therapy costs, and lost wages resulting from missed work. They may also disregard your other losses, like emotional distress and decreased quality of life caused by the car crash.
Insurance companies may attempt to minimize settlement amounts, but if you have strong evidence demonstrating that your losses were caused by someone else’s negligence, it can significantly impact an insurance company’s decision to settle. Compelling evidence makes an insurance company more likely to settle because they don’t want to risk an unfavorable outcome at trial.
Unlike settlements, which may be limited by insurance policies or the other party’s willingness to negotiate, a jury has the power to award a substantial amount for your injuries. In cases involving extreme negligence, a jury may even grant punitive damages as a way to punish the responsible party and deter future reckless behavior. This could result in a higher overall verdict amount.
Plus, trials provide a platform for holding the responsible person or organization publicly accountable. This can be particularly important in cases involving corporate negligence or misconduct as it sheds light on unsafe practices that may affect other employees. By bringing attention to these issues, trials have the potential to prevent future harm.
How can a personal injury attorney help?
When it comes to deciding whether to go to trial, the final call rests with you and your personal injury attorney. There are several factors that your attorney will consider when determining the best course of action for your case.
One important aspect is assessing the facts of your case and providing an estimate of the value of your injury. Your attorney will take into account every detail of your unique story to determine the full impact your injury has had on your life. This evaluation serves as a benchmark for evaluating whether the settlement offered by the defendant’s insurance company is fair. Based on this assessment, a decision can be made to either proceed to trial or accept a settlement offer out of court.
It’s important to note that just the threat of a lawsuit can often compel the insurance company to settle for the full value of your injury and losses. This is because when a qualified personal injury attorney files a lawsuit, it signals a high chance of success in court.
Ultimately, your attorney will guide you through the decision-making process and account for the unique circumstances of your case. Their expertise and understanding of personal injury law will help make sure you receive the full value you deserve for your injury, whether through a negotiated settlement or a trial verdict.
What happens during a personal injury trial?
During a personal injury trial in Texas, several steps are followed to ensure a fair outcome. Whether it is a bench trial heard by a judge or a jury trial, the process is similar. A bench trial means there is no jury to decide on the case, and the judge will determine if a defendant is guilty of negligence.
A jury trial typically begins with jury selection, where potential jurors are questioned to determine any biases or beliefs that could impact their impartiality. After this process, a panel of jurors are selected to hear the case.
Once the jury is chosen, the trial proceeds with the following events:
- Opening Statements: Both attorneys provide an overview of the case, laying out the evidence they plan to present and highlighting key issues for the jury to decide. Your attorney will explain how the auto collision occurred, why the defendant is responsible for your injuries, and how their negligence caused you harm. The defense attorney may present facts and evidence challenging the defendant’s liability or the severity of your injuries.
- Presentation of Evidence: Witness testimonies and exhibits are presented by each side. Your attorney will call witnesses and question them, while the defense attorney will likely cross-examine. Additionally, exhibits such as medical records, photos, and videos may be introduced to support each side’s arguments.
- Instructions to the Jury: After all the evidence is presented, the judge provides instructions to the jury, explaining the relevant laws and the considerations they should take into account when reaching a verdict.
- Closing Arguments: Each attorney has an opportunity to summarize the evidence and persuade the jury to accept their perspective. Your attorney will present their closing argument first, followed by the defense attorney. Your attorney may also provide a rebuttal to address assertions made by the defense attorney.
- Jury Deliberations: After closing arguments, the jury deliberates and reaches a verdict, considering the presented evidence and determining the defendant’s liability and the compensation you should receive.
- The Verdict: The verdict is the jury’s final decision on both liability and damages. It determines whether the defendant is liable for your injuries and, if so, specifies the amount they must pay.
When is going to trial the best option?
When it comes to personal injury cases, settlements can provide a quicker resolution. However, there are situations where going to trial becomes the best course of action. In such cases, having a personal injury lawyer who is skilled in both negotiation and litigation can make all the difference. They have the ability to navigate the complexities of the courtroom, effectively present your case, and fight for the full value you deserve.
Whether you’re involved in a car crash, slip and fall incident, oil field accident, or any other personal injury scenario, it’s crucial to work with a lawyer who has the expertise and experience to negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial if necessary. This dual skill set increases your chances of achieving a favorable outcome, be it through settlement or litigation.
Having an attorney by your side can provide a valuable source of guidance and support after a car crash. They will walk you through each step of the legal process, alleviating any confusion or distress you may be experiencing. From filing a lawsuit to managing legal proceedings, an attorney will be there to explain everything and ensure that the process goes smoothly. Their expertise will allow you to focus on healing and rebuilding your life after a vehicle collision.