Pros and Cons of Going to Trial
Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2022 at 6:29 pm
Being injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault can feel traumatic on many levels. From a physical perspective, you may experience pain that can be difficult to manage, as well as temporary or permanent disabilities that could keep you from working. Emotionally, in addition to the shock of having your life turned upside-down in an instant, you will also have to face the stress of financial struggles due to the sudden surge of hospital bills, right at a time when your injuries may keep you from earning your normal wages.
Accident victims deserve to be compensated for the losses they have suffered. Most personal injury cases in Texas reach their conclusion through a negotiated settlement with the insurance company, and compensation comes in the form of a one-time payment that you agree to without having to go to court. However, if the insurance company does not offer you an amount that will cover your losses, it may become necessary to file a lawsuit and seek your full and fair compensation before a judge and jury.
There are indeed many benefits to taking your claim to court, but there could be some downsides too. Having an awareness of what the advantages and disadvantages are can give you the power to make an informed decision about whether to go to court instead of accepting the settlement.
Pros of Going to Trial
Trying your case before a judge and jury can offer a number of benefits you wouldn’t achieve if you settle out of court. The advantages include:
- The possibility of more substantial compensation. Often, a jury might give you a larger monetary award than you are able to get when striking a settlement deal with an insurance company.
- Holding the negligent party publicly accountable. Because settlements are private and confidential, the at-fault party never has to disclose how much they paid you for your injuries. In fact, the defendant never even has to admit fault in a settlement. Taking the at-fault party to court allows you to hold them publicly accountable for the harm they have caused. This public judgment can be a way of deterring the at-fault party and others from behaving in a similarly negligent manner in the future, potentially saving other people from the harm you have experienced.
- Meaningful closure. Going through the process of a trial can make it easier to feel that you are attaining the justice you deserve for the wrong the defendant did to you. This sense of closure may make it more possible for you to move on with your life.
Cons of Going to Trial
While the advantages of taking your claim to trial can be significant, the reason most personal injury claims are settled out of court is that court cases are often less convenient in many ways. This includes:
- Longer waiting times. While most injury victims tend to receive their compensation within 30 days of reaching a settlement, trials can go on for several months or longer before they come to their conclusion.
- Uncertain outcome. Negotiating a settlement allows you some control over the process. Taking your case to trial means that you are putting the decision-making process in the hands of the court, and it is impossible to know just how much a given jury will award you. In some situations, if they feel that your case has not met the burden of proof, you may end up winning nothing at all.
- Lack of privacy. The public nature of a trial means that you will not be able to keep all of your affairs private during the process. All the details of the proceeding and the underlying incident are available for anyone to look up, should they choose to do so.
Contact an Experienced Texas Personal Injury Attorney
The decision of whether to settle or to go to court with your personal injury case will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. An experienced Beaumont personal injury lawyer can help you choose the option that will optimize your chances of a full and fair recovery.
The knowledgeable and skilled personal injury attorneys at Portner Bond, PLLC are here to assess your case for you so that you can understand what your legal options are. We will do everything in our power to win a settlement for you that will fully cover your losses. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to play ball, we are unafraid to take them on in court. Call us at (409) 838-4444 or contact us online today to find out more about how we can help you.