Making a personal injury claim is the first step toward getting compensation for your losses. Most cases are settled out of court, which means that just because you file a claim, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to go to court. If you cannot agree on a settlement amount out of court, however, you do need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant to take them to court.
There will still be the chance to settle before your trial actually begins, but you need to be prepared to go to court whenever you file a lawsuit. Let’s take a look at why most cases don’t make it to court and when going to court might be the best option for you.
Why Don’t Most Cases Make it to Court?
The reasons that most cases don’t make it to court vary on a case by case basis, but these are the more frequent reasons that cases settle before going to trial.
- Taking a case to court is very expensive for both sides, with court costs and attorney fees increasing as the trial continues.
- If the plaintiff needs money sooner rather than later, a low, guaranteed and immediate settlement amount may be preferable to a higher amount of money. There’s also the chance that, if you take your case to court, you will not win. And if you do win, you won’t get the money until after the potentially lengthy trail.
- This leads us to our next reason, which is the possibility of losing your case. If the plaintiff loses the case, they wind up with nothing and may even owe certain fees. If the defendant loses, they could end up owing more money than they would have if they’d settled.
- Finally, the chance that the losing side will appeal the verdict also prevents many cases from going to court. Settlements are binding contracts that close the case and cannot be appealed. Court verdicts, however, can be appealed. This means that you could be continually going back to court for some time, and the plaintiff doesn’t receive their damages until the case is officially closed.
Is Going to Court in Your Best Interests?
While these reasons for not going to court may seem daunting, that doesn’t mean that taking your injury lawsuit to court isn’t in your best interests. Weigh the risks and benefits of taking your case to court, and consult your personal injury lawyer to see what they think is best. If your defendant offers you a settlement that you and your lawyer think is fair and provides you with enough compensation for your damages, settling your case out of court may be the most advisable option.
If, however, the defendant’s offer does not satisfy you, you may want to file an injury lawsuit and take them to court. Sometimes, simply filing the lawsuit can be enough leverage for the defendant to offer you a more attractive settlement. Other times, the defendant stands by their position, and you need to see your court case all the way through to the end.
Contact a Lawyer to Help With Your Injury Lawsuit
Whenever you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit, you need to seek the legal assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. The professionals at McMahan Law Firm proudly serve the Chattanooga, TN community. Contact us today if you need legal representation.