According to Lawyers.com, approximately 95 percent of all personal injury cases settle before trial. While attorneys on both sides may evaluate a case on a similar basis, there is no guarantee whatsoever that a jury will, and neither side wants to be surprised by an unfavorable verdict. Trying a case in front of a jury usually brings a huge element of uncertainty into the process. But despite the risks, reaching a settlement doesn’t always happen.
The Parties Disagree About the Value of the Case
If you think your case is worth half a million dollars but the other party’s settle offer is $10,000, the chance that your case will end up in trial goes up significantly. If the defendant’s insurance company is being unreasonable and their offer will not fairly compensate you for your damages, a trial may be required. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make profits, not pay claims and maximize your settlement.
Your Lawyer Recommends Litigation
When retaining a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to know whether your lawyer has trial experience. Although out-of-court settlement is sometimes the preferred method of resolving cases, some lawyers have a reputation for always settling cases and never going to trial. If insurance companies are aware of this, they may be inclined to make especially low settlement offers, assuming that the lawyer will take the money to avoid going to trial. When choosing a lawyer, always ask whether he will be willing to take your case to trial, if that is your choice. If the answer is no, you might want to keep looking.
Turning down an offer in favor of litigation can be a tough choice, but your attorney will help you understand what your injury is worth so you don’t end up with a low-ball settlement that doesn’t cover your damages. When indicated and important, you want your attorney’s motto to be “we try cases” rather than “we settle.”