After an accident, there are generally two options to pursue: settling the claim with the defendant out of court or suing and following through with a court trial. Any choice you make comes with its own risks and requires you to weigh your options open-mindedly. This article will discuss the options available when deciding to pursue a lawsuit and trial.
You are likely aware that taking any case to trial has the added advantage of receiving a higher dollar value through a jury award. In addition, going to trial also allows you a chance of recouping all your out-of-pocket expenses. As a result, going to trial may seem to be the best option that provides the best financial results in your case. However, some risks come with the rewards; that you must be aware of before turning down a settlement offer.
One of the significant risks associated with taking a lawsuit to trial is that you actually may receive less than the initial settlement amount offered by the defendant. It is not uncommon for court decisions to fall way below the settlement offer, or in some cases, you may receive nothing. The truth of the matter is that when insurance companies make a settlement, the offer is based on what they expect the court to rule based on the merits of the case and precedent. However, if you do not have enough evidence or the case is not strong enough, it may be determined that your case fails to meet the burden of proof, and the court may decide that the defendant does not have to pay you anything at all. In other cases, the jury may award you far less than the amount you would have received in a settlement offer as financial compensation.
Another key risk of going to trial is that you may spend a lot of money on the case itself. As with most fee agreements, lawyers work on a contingency basis [Contingency Fee | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)]. This means that the lawyers are only paid if you receive a settlement award or a court ruled award for your personal injury case. That being said, the lawyers will need to be paid for the work that they will have done up to the point of your favorable award at trial. While their fees maybe 33% of your award, other costs are included as the case is drawn out to trial. For example, your lawsuit will likely require the services of an expert witness. Expert witnesses are very expensive, and if the attorney firm pays for the expert witness’ costs, such costs will be deducted from your award. As well as court costs, transport costs, etc.
While it is ultimately your decision to either accept a settlement offer or decline it and go to trial, your attorney is in the best position to advise you of the better option.
For legal advice and representation in a plane accident Wasilla case contact a law firm of renowned personal injury plane accident attorneys.