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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

When Do Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial?

May 3, 2020 in

The majority of personal injury cases settle prior to trial. Two reasons that so many personal injury cases settle is because litigation costs can be expensive for defendants and trial awards can be uncertain and unpredictable. Going to trial is a financial risk for both plaintiffs and defendants, which makes settlement agreements appealing to both parties. 

Some personal injury victims become anxious at the thought of having to go to trial, which is why we always stress the fact that most cases do settle. We understand the anxiety and fears that you may face about a potential trial, but those concerns should not prevent you from seeking the financial compensation that you deserve. When personal injury cases do go to trial, it is usually due to one or more of the following circumstances.

One Or Both Sides Decides To Take A Risk

As mentioned above, going to trial is a risk for both plaintiffs and defendants. Neither side typically wants to go to trial because that takes the outcome of their case out of their hands and puts it into a jury or judge’s hands. 

When plaintiffs believe that their cases are strong and that defendants’ settlement offers are too low, they sometimes decide that going to trial is worth the risk. And when defendants believe that they have a strong defense and that plaintiffs are asking for too much, they might decide that going to trial is a risk they should take.

Insurance Companies Refuse To Agree To Fair And Reasonable Settlement Terms

Insurance companies do not want to pay more than they have to for insurance claims, and they use many strategies and tactics to keep their claims low. This is unfair to injury victims who deserve to be compensated for their injuries and damages. 

Sometimes insurance companies will hold firm to an unreasonable settlement offer, hoping that the plaintiff will decide to accept a low, but guaranteed sum, instead of going to trial. When plaintiffs refuse to agree to unfair terms and insurance companies hold firm, you end up in court.

Parties Disagree On Claim Value

In personal injury cases, both sides go over injury evidence to help determine the value of the plaintiff’s claim. It is easier to value economic damages that have a monetary value, such as medical bills and lost wages. Noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to value because they are subjective. When a plaintiff significantly overvalues his or her claim or a defendant grossly undervalues the plaintiff’s claim, reaching a settlement is difficult. 

Parties Disagree On Liability

When there is a disagreement between the plaintiff and defendant as to who is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages, settling the case can be a challenge. Defendants do not want to pay when they do not believe they were responsible for the injuries. Plaintiffs do not want to accept offers that do not fully compensate them when they believe that the defendant’s liability is clear. 

Experienced New York City personal injury attorneys are more likely to settle your case for a fair amount than if you handle your claim by yourself. They will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and help you determine the true value of your injuries. They will negotiate with insurance companies and be prepared to take your case to trial when it is in your best interest to do so.

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