If you’ve been hurt as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering what happens next. There are many considerations when you’re deciding how to pursue compensation, and it can seem like an overwhelming beginning to a long legal journey. You may have heard things about the benefits and drawbacks of going to trial. It’s important to understand the truth about a trial and how it can affect your situation.
Most personal injury cases are settled outside the courtroom. However, each case is different and depends on many factors. You should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more. They will be able to guide you through this difficult time.
Pro: Trial by Jury May Be to Your Advantage
When you choose an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you, they can build a strong case for you. Such an attorney will know how to present evidence in convincing ways and how to gain the sympathy of the jury.
This means that the complete story of your injury can be told. This includes details of your injuries, resulting treatments, and how the accident has negatively impacted your life. Because of this, jury awards can sometimes be significantly larger than settlements that result from negotiations.
Pro: A Trial Can Provide a Sense that the Defendant Is Being Held Accountable
In the case of a settlement, the defendant is not required to admit fault or wrongdoing. When a case goes to trial, there can potentially be a sense of getting justice when a judge or jury finds the defendant at fault. This can be an aspect that may be personally important to you.
When a case goes to trial, the details are part of the public record. This means they are not kept confidential, as the details of a settlement are. Going to trial can potentially provide a sense of closure when the fact that a defendant is found at fault is public knowledge.
Con: A Trial Offers Less Certainty Than Reaching a Settlement
When a case is settled, you know the monetary amount of the agreement. Generally, this amount minus any attorneys’ fees is the amount that you will receive. This certainty is a major reason why a person who has been injured may choose to settle.
When a case goes to trial, there is no such certainty. Whether the trial is by judge or jury, the defendant may or may not be found to be at fault. This means that it is possible that an injury victim could go to trial and ultimately not receive any compensation.
Con: Going to Trial Can Take Much Longer Than a Settlement
Each case is unique, and there is no set amount of time that it will take. This applies to both settlements as well as going to trial. However, settlements typically take less time than going to trial.
Cases that are straightforward could potentially be settled in a matter of months. That said, complex cases could take a year or longer to settle. In the case of a trial, there is a significant amount of time spent on pretrial preparation. This in itself could take many months, a year, or more. Due to the increased time spent, this may also result in a more stressful overall experience for you.
Con: A Trial Can Be More Expensive Than a Settlement
A trial does not have the same certainty that a settlement does. This means that if the defendant is found to be at fault, there is no guarantee about how much compensation you may be awarded. On top of this, the additional time and effort that a trial requires mean that the associated attorneys’ fees will be greater than in a settlement.
The costs incurred by your legal team will be subtracted from any award amount. Because of this, you may end up receiving less money after these are deducted. This is one major reason why a person might choose to settle instead of going to trial.
Call Us Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Louisiana that was caused by someone else, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. You should not have to be responsible for paying for someone else’s mistake. You need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Call 337-310-1600 now to talk with the Lake Charles car accident attorneys of Veron Bice, LLC about your case. We can help you understand your options so you can make the best decision for your future. Contact us today for a free consultation.