Could Your Personal Injury Case Make it to Trial or be Settled Before?

jury box in courtroomThis is one of the most common questions injury victims have when they meet with an attorney to discuss their claims. Injury victims often feel a lot of anxiety about the idea of having to go to court or testify in front of a jury.

What many injury victims do not know is that most cases are settled outside of the courtroom. If a case settles, then there is no need for a trial. Some cases do make it to court, but it is rare.

Below, learn more about why most personal injury cases are settled and never end up in court. We also discuss situations where a case may go to trial.

If you have legal questions after suffering a personal injury, the Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at TSR Injury Law are here to answer them. An initial consultation with a licensed attorney is free and there are no legal obligations.

Reasons Why Cases are Usually Settled

It is usually in the best interest of both parties to settle the case rather than going to trial. While the trial itself may only last a few days, there are numerous hurdles to clear before a trial can begin. That means trying to resolve a case with a jury trial is going to take much longer than settling the case.

Insurance companies routinely deny and try to underpay claims. However, if you are represented by a lawyer, you may have a much better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. Settlement negotiations may take weeks or months, but attorneys are usually able to get the insurance company to make a reasonable offer. If your lawyer can get a fair offer from the insurance company, there is no reason to go to trial.

You Are Not Asking for a Large Amount of Compensation

The value of a case could also impact the chances of going to trial. For example, say you suffered a permanent injury with significant medical expenses and non-economic damages. The insurance company may make lowball offers hoping you will accept one. Settlement negotiations could drag on without an offer you or your attorney are willing to accept. This is a situation where you should seriously consider going to trial.

On the other hand, if it is clear to the insurer that your claim is valid, but you are not seeking an unusually large amount of damages, the insurance company is likely to settle. This is a much cheaper option for them than going to court.

You Have More Control Over Settlement Negotiations

One of the benefits of settlement negotiations is that you and your attorney are free to reject any offers. If you go to court, you must accept what the jury awards you. The downside of a jury verdict is that it carries no guarantee of winning. This means you could be awarded more than the insurance company offered, less, or nothing at all.

Settling is Usually Less Costly for Insurers

Insurance companies often prefer to settle because they could end up paying out a lot more compensation if the case goes to court. They also have no control over what a jury may decide to do.

How Long Could It Take to Reach a Settlement?

Each case is unique, but typically it takes 6-12 months to reach maximum medical improvement and be in a position to settle. You never want to settle and then discover more injuries. Some cases require immediate surgeries, and those situations can settle faster because the injury is known, fixed and understood by the parties.

Once a demand is sent, it may take about three to six months to negotiate a favorable settlement for a personal injury The insurance company needs to review the records, bills, expert reports, police investigations and all the other materials that go into a demand.

Reasons Cases Might go to Trial

Your case might go to trial if the insurance company does not make a settlement offer you are willing to accept. In some cases, they may deny the claim up front and offer no compensation. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way to get the insurance company to agree to negotiate a settlement.

It is important to note that filing a lawsuit does not always mean the insurance company will allow the case to go to trial. They may realize they do not have a good chance of a favorable outcome in a trial. Taking this step could get them to decide to make a better offer to the victim.

Insurers Are Confident in Their Case

Insurance companies usually have a lot of confidence in their case if they allow it to go to trial. They may feel confident that their evidence is strong enough to invalidate your claim when presented to a jury.

The Case Involves Significant Damages

The higher the value of a case, the more likely it is to go to trial. Insurance companies do not want to pay out compensation, particularly if it could be a large amount. Even if you have a strong case, the insurance company will look for some way to underpay your claim. They may stick to a lowball offer, even after your attorney files a lawsuit.

Insurers Are Playing Hardball

There are times when the insurance company does not have a strong case but decides to go to trial anyway. There is really no hard and fast way to know how an insurance company may respond. That is why it is vital to have an experienced attorney handling your claim. One factor insurance companies evaluate is who is your lawyer or law firm. Does the Firm have a reputation of folding or will they try a case?  If they think your lawyer will fold because of past actions, they will never pay the full amount owed.

How Long Could a Trial Take?

It could take a year or longer to reach the point where your attorney makes a closing argument and the jury deliberates on your case. There are many steps that precede a jury trial, not to mention the time your attorney may spend negotiating before a lawsuit is filed.

Why You Need an Attorney Who is Prepared to go to Court

Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny or underpay claims. If you have no attorney representing you, particularly one with courtroom experience, a lowball settlement offer is more likely. If an insurance company believes there is little chance a case could go to court, there is less incentive for them to make a better offer.

Your goal when seeking compensation is to recover all the compensation you need to help you and your family move forward. If your lawyer is not prepared to go to court, that goal could be much more difficult to accomplish.

At TSR, we are often able to settle claims without the need to go to court. However, we are always prepared if the insurance company denies or undervalues a claim.

Need Legal Help After a Personal Injury? Call TSR

For more than 25 years, TSR Injury Law has been securing compensation for personal injury victims. We are prepared to manage the legal process on behalf of our clients, at no upfront cost. We do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation.

Give us a call today. We are ready to help you seek the compensation you need and hold liable parties accountable for your damages.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Attorneys. Proven Results. (612) TSR-TIME

How Much Time Do I Have to Claim an Injury from a Car Crash?

speaking with lawyer about car accident claimSometimes car crashes that do not result in significant damage to your vehicle can cause significant injuries. However, you may not notice symptoms immediately after the crash. In fact, it could take days or weeks before you notice pain symptoms and/or seek treatment.

When this happens, victims may wonder if they can still file a claim for compensation. The answer is yes, but things could be a lot more complicated than if you had filed right away. For one, the insurance company will use the delay against you, claiming you were truly not injured at all or if you are hurt, it was because of something besides the crash.

Another factor that could complicate things is if you talked to the insurance company immediately after the crash. Did you say you were not injured? Did you say you felt OK? Your words will be used against you.

While your lawyer may still be able to obtain compensation, statements like this could present a significant obstacle.

Problems With Waiting to File a Claim

Not only could you pass the deadline for filing a claim, you could be giving the insurance company and at-fault party a strong reason to deny or devalue your claim.

After a car crash, insurance companies and at-fault parties are always looking for some way to attack your credibility. If there is a significant gap in time (more than a day or two) between the crash and you filing a claim, they may say you are just trying to get money and are not significantly injured.

They are especially likely to use these arguments if you did not seek treatment for weeks or months after the crash. The burden of proof for linking an injury to a crash is on the victim. It can be very difficult to establish this connection if your injuries were diagnosed a week or a month after your crash.

It is never a bad idea to go to the hospital or urgent care after a car crash. A licensed medical professional can look you over and run tests to help determine if any injuries occurred.

It may take more time for significant injuries to develop, but by seeking treatment quickly, you are documenting your initial pains that later can be linked to the crash. You are also helping to make it that much harder for insurance companies and at-fault parties to dispute your intention for filing a claim or attack your credibility.

Statements to the Insurance Company

It is best to keep your statements to the insurance company brief. You may not think you are seriously injured, but that may change in the future. You want to leave yourself room to maneuver if you begin experiencing symptoms. That means avoiding definitive statements about your condition, as these statements could soon prove to be inaccurate.  The number one rule is to speak to an attorney before ever giving an insurance statement.

What is the Deadline for Filing a Car Crash Claim?

Your insurance company likely has a deadline for filing a claim, and if you miss it you may lose the right to do so. That is why it is important to contact a Bloomington car accident lawyer right away to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.

In addition to the basic setting up a claim, there are also legal deadline requirements to file a lawsuit on injury claims. Statute of limitations vary by state and also by type of claim. The SOL can be as short as  two years from the date of the crash. Even though most car crash claims are resolved through an insurance settlement, sometimes your lawyer may need to take the insurance company to court to pursue maximum compensation.

By contacting a lawyer right away, he or she can determine if you may have a case and get to work gathering evidence. You want to give your lawyer enough time to prepare to file a lawsuit if it becomes necessary.

TSR Injury Law is Here to Help. Call Us Today.

If you have any questions about your claim or the legal process, give us a call today. We are here to help crash victims, including assessing whether you may have a valid claim for compensation.

There is no risk in contacting us because we do not charge for an initial consultation and you are not required to hire us if we find you have a case. In fact, our attorneys are not paid to represent you unless we obtain compensation for your damages.

Read our testimonials page to see what our clients have to say about the representation we provided them.

Call TSR Injury Law. No upfront fees. (612) TSR-TIME.