Whenever you have suffered an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you have legal rights. Your primary legal right is to get full compensation for your injuries. However, there is much that needs to happen between the time of the accident and the time that a check may be deposited into your account. Many of these events are outside your control.
Although a settlement is often the best scenario for personal injury victims, it is not always achievable. There are some reasons why you can and should take your personal injury case to trial.
You have two options when you are seeking financial compensation for personal injuries. First, you can file a lawsuit directly in court without trying to go through the insurance company. Still, it will be the insurance company that defends the responsible party because of their policy obligations. Nonetheless, your lawyer may advise you that the proper strategy will be to go to court first.
The Insurance Company May Prove Too Difficult to Deal With
Most people will try to work through the insurance company before they file a lawsuit. They may file a claim to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company.
The insurance company may do one of two things:
- They may not believe that your claim has merit, and so deny it.
- They may make you an initial settlement offer in the hopes of resolving your claim.
If the insurance company’s response is the former, you will proceed immediately to court because there is nothing further to discuss with them. The insurance company usually only denies claims that they believe have no merit whatsoever. Otherwise, they will look to reduce their own risk by attempting to settle the case.
If your claim is denied, you will need to file a lawsuit against the defendant and have the jury decide the matter. There will be little opening for settlement negotiations because the insurance company does not believe you have a valid claim. However, if you think that your claim still has merit, you should not hesitate to pursue it in court. The insurance company does not get to make a final decision on your case.
The Insurance Company May Offer an Unfair and Unreasonable Settlement
More often, the insurance company will make a settlement offer. They know that they will need to pay either their own attorneys or a litigation defense firm if your case with them goes to trial. Therefore, they may seek a settlement to control their costs.
However, the insurance company’s offer may not reflect the reality of your situation. The insurance company is trying to save money at your expense by making you a low settlement offer. The time-honored tradition of insurance company negotiations is that they will slowly raise their offer to get closer to the proper settlement range. It takes time, and the insurance company is trying to wait you out to put financial pressure on you. In their view, a desperate claimant is one that is more likely to take their below-value settlement offer.
In some cases, you may not have the time or patience to hope for the insurance company to improve their offer. They may see your damages differently and do not believe that you deserve anywhere near what you have claimed. There are some claims where the gap between you and the insurance company just cannot be bridged. Either there is a legitimate difference of opinion, or the insurance company simply will not make the offer necessary to settle the case.
You May Have No Choice But to Go to Trial
When the insurance company is playing hardball, you may have no choice but to take your case all the way to trial. The insurance company does not have nearly the amount of power that they think when they act as they do. They merely stand in the stead of the policyholder because of their legal relationship with them. In the end, a jury is the one that has the final say over your case. The insurance company does not get to dictate, and if they do, you can simply call their bluff and go to trial.
Many litigants can end up in a better position because juries tend to award more money than insurance companies will give in settlements. Insurance companies know that, and that is why they usually want to avoid juries. However, if your case does go to trial, you take the risk that you can end up with nothing if the jury does not find the defendant liable.
Oftentimes, that is enough to make people shy away from the prospect of a trial. You also want to manage your own risk and ensure that you end up with something. While attorneys can be aggressive, they must also be sensible for their clients.
Contact a Conway and Little Rock Personal Injury Attorney Today
The lawyers at Denton & Zachary provide clients with common sense yet tough legal representation. We understand what you are facing as an accident victim, and we work to obtain the best outcome for you. To learn more about how our attorneys will fight on your behalf, you can reach out to us online or call us today at (501) 273-1695 to discuss your case in a free initial consultation.
Personal Injury Case FAQs
What are the chances that my personal injury case goes to trial?
Trials are exceedingly rare and personal injury cases. Roughly between 4 and 6 percent of them will go to a jury.
Do I automatically get my money if I win the trial?
The defendant has a right to appeal the verdict, and they often do. This can add even more time to your case. Some parties will settle their case after a jury verdict.
Do I need to pay my attorney while my case is pending?
No. You do not need to pay a personal injury lawyer out of your own pocket. They are only paid if you win your case.