In an often cited statistic, fewer than five (5) percent of all personal injury cases go to trial in the U.S. For many victims of injurious accidents, the longer timeline and associated risks of taking their personal injury case to court simply is not worth the potential benefit. However, there are certainly situations where trials can lead to larger payouts, and the discussion of whether or not your personal injury case should go to court is always worth having. Today, our personal injury attorney will be discussing the settlement process, the trial process, and pros and cons of each.
Somerset County, NJ Personal Injury Settlement Attorney Discusses Options
As so few personal injury cases ever make their way in front of a judge and/or jury, where does that leave clients? For the vast majority of cases, your Somerset County personal injury settlement attorney will be able to facilitate a successful early settlement of your personal injury claim. Settlements can come about from any of the following methods:
- Negotiation – traditionally, a series of offers and counter-offers between claimants and defendants will lead to an amenable agreement for both parties
- Mediation – in some cases, both parties will agree to hire a mediator to advise on a fair and reasonable settlement amount. The recommendations of mediators are non-binding
- Arbitration – a very similar process to mediation, with the exception that the outcome of arbitrations are final
- Litigation – if all else fails, you may choose to take your case to trial
Bridgewater Personal Injury Trial Lawyer Identifies Timeline of Litigation
One of the primary reasons your Bridgewater personal injury trial lawyer will likely recommend choosing settlement is the long and drawn out timeline of litigation. At a very high level, here is an example of a typical timeline for a personal injury case which goes to trial. Keep in mind that these steps may take months or even multiple years to reach a conclusion:
- Claimants file a personal injury claim for their injurious accidents
- Claim enters the discovery phase, where evidence and appropriate documentation is collected
- Attempts to settle are either unsuccessful or never take place
- Your personal injury attorney files a formal lawsuit with the New Jersey Courts
- You will wait to have a court date scheduled
- Trial will take place over one or many dates
- Final judgement will be issued
- Final judgements may be appealed
What are the Pros and Cons of Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial?
Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of accepting a settlement offer for your personal injury claim for many clients is the drastically reduced timeline. Settlements can be handled as quickly as both parties are willing to come to an agree, where you can reasonably expect to wait for years to receive financial compensation in a court trial. There is also the possibility that you will lose your court case and walk away empty handed. Additionally, settlement agreements may not be appealed by either party. So once your agreement has been signed, your legal battles are over.
On the other hand, verdicts rendered by courts often carry higher payouts than settlements. If you have a very strong case, it may be worth the additional effort of taking your personal injury case to trial. It is a great idea to a Somerset County personal injury attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and how to best proceed.
Contact a Somerville Personal Injury Trial Attorney Today
Somerville personal injury trial attorney Brian J. Levine has been providing unwavering and proficient advocacy for over 30 years for clients injured in accidents from Somerset and Hunterdon County towns including Somerville, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, New Brunswick, Franklin, and all of Central New Jersey. Our firm was built on the foundation of dynamic and personalized attorney-client relationships. Attorney Levine has been recognized as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, an honor earned by only three percent of practicing lawyers in the state.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and believe you may be eligible for financial compensation through a personal injury claim, please contact us online or through our Somerville offices by dialing (908) 524-0123 today for a free and confidential consultation.