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When a personal injury claim is filed, there are two possible outcomes for resolution: settle or go to trial. A settlement is when an agreement is reached between the two involved parties outside of a court of law, and the case is settled without ever going to trial. If a case cannot be settled mutually between the two parties, the case will instead go to trial.
More often than not, personal injury cases settle out of court in what we call the pre-trial phase. There are a number of reasons this may happen. For example, the defendant may think there is a good chance your personal injury case will succeed in court. Or perhaps they know that the damages you are requesting will make it less costly to settle outside of court than to incur the legal costs (such as attorney fees and court costs) associated with going to trial. Lastly, your attorney may advise you that the settlement offer being made by the defendant is fair and comparable to what you would likely win if you took the case to trial. While this is typically the route that most cases take, and a settlement is reached without the need for a trial, there is still the occasional case that will see a courtroom.
A personal injury dispute may go to trial for a handful of reasons. First, the defendant may believe they have a good chance of winning a court case, and will therefore purposefully offer a low settlement they know you will reject, or none at all. Sometimes, the damages your attorney requests may be too high for the defendant or its insurance company to settle, and therefore they will try to fight the claim via court to avoid paying those costs in the long run. Perhaps you have an incredibly strong case, and your attorney believes your odds of winning in a trial are high enough that it is worth pursuing.
Other times, personal injury disputes go to trial as a matter of principle or public good because it can draw attention to a case that may set precedent, affecting the outcomes of future cases like yours. While settlements are kept private, going to trial holds responsible parties accountable in the public eye, which can raise awareness about an issue and improve your community as a whole.
Whether your personal injury dispute goes to trial on your own volition or out of necessity, it's important to be prepared for either outcome by working with a team of attorneys that has ample experience in the courtroom. Trial lawyers provide another level of expertise when it comes to preparing a defense team for trial, preparing witnesses, gathering evidence, and choosing jury members. It's important to know that not every lawyer you meet is a trial lawyer. Without this specific type of experience, some attorneys will fall short when your case goes to trial.
Cok Kinzler has the experience required to represent you at every step of the way. We work tirelessly to help our clients get the justice they deserve, and that extends well into the courtroom. Our attorney Michael D. Cok, for example, was named by National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the United States. His clients have received over $100 million in verdicts and settlements.
Unlike some firms, we're well-equipped to represent you at trial, and we thrive in the courtroom setting, even against some of the largest corporations in the country.
No matter what route your case takes, it's always our priority at Cok Kinzler to make sure you are well informed and comfortable with the proceedings throughout the process. We have great respect for the delicate nature of personal injuries and the unforeseen stresses they can bring to your life. We believe your legal representation shouldn't add to that stress, but offer you some relief and space for recovery instead.
If you've recently experienced a personal injury and are curious about your options, please call us. Our consultations are free, and our staff is ready to assist you.