Many personal injury cases settle before trial. Some resolve during the insurance claims process before a lawsuit is filed, while others go through multiple stages of a lawsuit before opposing parties agree to a settlement.
Every case is unique, but a trial is a possibility for anyone. Even though you might want to avoid going to court, participating in legal proceedings is sometimes necessary to recover the compensation owed to you. Negotiations might hit a roadblock, requiring you to present your case before a judge and jury.
Regardless of what happens, hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial. They have the necessary experience and skills to fight for you during an insurance claim and in court. You should not pursue action without legal representation. Without an attorney, you’ll likely obtain less compensation than you would if you had legal help.
What Is a Trial Lawyer?
A trial lawyer represents clients in lawsuits. Personal injury lawyers are usually trial lawyers and can handle civil lawsuits involving various cases, such as:
- Premises liability
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Dog bites
- Dangerous drugs
- Product liability
- Workplace accidents
Trial attorneys guide accident victims through legal proceedings. They can investigate, gather evidence, and argue cases in court. The primary responsibilities of a personal injury trial lawyer include:
- Handling every stage of the lawsuit
- Analyzing the available evidence and determining whether to present it in court
- Filing all necessary legal documents by the required deadlines
- Preparing reports, pleadings, briefs, motions, and other paperwork to file with the court
- Locating witnesses to testify on the stand during the trial
- Keeping the client updated on the status of the case
- Negotiating a settlement with the opposing party to resolve the matter before the trial starts
- Preparing the client and witnesses for upcoming depositions
Common Reasons Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial
Multiple factors can determine whether a trial is in your future:
- Disputes over liability – The insurance company or defense lawyer might disagree with your interpretation of the accident. They might blame you for the incident or determine you’re partially at fault for your injury. Liability disputes commonly require continued litigation since both parties must agree to a settlement to resolve the matter. Sometimes, you can negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement during mediation. However, you might have to go to trial for a judge or jury to decide on the legal issue if settlement talks fail.
- Unsuccessful negotiations – You can negotiate a settlement at any point before the judge or jury issues a judgment. You might settle during the insurance claim process if the insurance company knows their chances of winning at trial are slim. Sometimes, negotiating a fair settlement during negotiations is possible. The insurer might want to avoid a higher payout by agreeing to settle before a jury can determine the financial award. However, you will likely proceed to trial if the insurance company would rather take its chances in court. They might have strong evidence to disprove your claim or believe the case against you is strong enough to win.
- Failed mediation – Mediation is a valuable tool in personal injury cases. Both sides meet with a neutral mediator to discuss various aspects of the lawsuit and attempt to resolve the matter before the trial starts. A mediator facilitates conversations between opposing parties and offers solutions to settle. Sometimes, it works. You might want to avoid the cost of litigation by compromising to end the lawsuit. However, a failed mediation attempt might mean you’ll have to go to trial.
- Insurance bad faith – The insurance company might handle your claim in bad faith. That means they refuse to offer a fair settlement, intentionally delay the process, misrepresent the policy terms, or otherwise mistreat you. When that happens, you can take them to court. A trial might force the insurer to compensate you for your injury. You can also file another lawsuit for additional compensation to cover your losses due to the acts of bad faith.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Help with Your Case
No two personal injury cases are alike. The way you approach a settlement will depend on the circumstances. Although you might deserve compensation from the at-fault party, their insurance company might complicate the process, hoping you’ll give up. You should not hesitate to contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys of The Benton Law Firm to discuss your legal case and determine the available options.
The Benton Law Firm has extensive experience representing injured clients in Dallas. We will create a strategy to hold the negligent party liable and try to achieve the best possible outcome. Call us at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation if you were injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence.