Most people who seek the help of a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit to recover for their injuries assume that their personal injury case will go to trial.
But that’s not always so.
Not all personal injury cases have to go to trial in order for the plaintiff (i.e., injured party) to be adequately compensated for his or her losses.
Indeed, more cases settle than go to trial.
Settlement is Always an Option
Here’s the thing about going to trial: it takes a long time to get a case to trial, and it’s expensive.
And now, given the impact the coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”) has had on the already overburdened court system, cases are going to take longer than ever to move through the court system.
What this means in the context of a personal injury case is that if your case would have taken 1-3 years to get to trial normally, it’s going to take twice as long now.
For many people, that’s a long time to wait for money needed to pay medical bills, etc.
Because litigation is time-consuming, stressful and expensive, it has always been in the best interests of both parties to attempt to avoid going to trial if possible and work out a settlement instead.
In fact, the court system encourages this.
Alternatives to Going to Trial
To facilitate the speedy processing of cases by settlement rather than litigation, most court systems have mandatory alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) programs or protocols that parties must follow.
Some of the more common alternative methods used to settle cases (or attempt to) include:
- Case Evaluation or Early Neutral Evaluation
Each one of these methods of case negotiation has its own rules and procedures. Because each case is unique, some cases will be good prospects for arbitration, while other cases might benefit from mediation instead. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and help you understand your choices and situation.
In addition to the court system encouraging settlement rather than trial, there are other factors that keep most cases from going all the way to trial. One of these is that most personal injury cases involve insurance claims made by the injured party against either their own insurance policy or that of the at-fault party. Because the main aim of any insurance company is to pay out as little as possible on a claim, as a practical matter, the insurer will do everything it can to settle the case rather than incur the costs of going to trial.
The reality of the situation is then, that most cases do not go to trial. They settle: either before trial or on “the courthouse steps” as they say, meaning right before trial. Some may even settle during trial.
So, will your personal injury case go to trial?
Maybe, maybe not.
It all depends on the facts of your case and your willingness (and the other side’s) to settle.
For a more complete understanding of personal injury lawsuits, contact experienced personal injury counsel today.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.