A lot of personal injury cases settle without going to trial. However, the process can become more complicated than many anticipate. Negotiations may stall or there could be other challenging issues that arise. There is no way to predict the outcome. Thus, among the multiple qualifications your attorney should have, one of the most important is experience in the courtroom.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney with Trial Experience
Sometimes claimants make false assumptions about injury cases. They may assume they will never reach litigation. Although many cases settle before that becomes necessary, it does happen. There can be a lot at stake in losing a trial, especially if the plaintiff has suffered significant damages.
Another false assumption that claimants or plaintiffs make is that every attorney is skilled in litigation. The truth is that some have never stepped foot inside a courtroom. Similarly, the personal injury attorney may have just minimal experience. There is a lot of work and skill that goes into preparing a case for trial, so it’s important to hire an attorney who has experience litigating personal injury claims.
When someone has sustained serious injuries there could be concerns about:
- mounting medical costs;
- paying bills when unable to work; and
- holding the responsible party liable.
As if sorting all of this out isn’t difficult enough, taking the case to court creates a great deal more work. Therefore, it’s important to have an attorney who knows how to get the job done.
Differences between Settling a Personal Injury Claim and Litigation
One of the big differences between settling a claim and taking it to trial is the amount of time spent on it. In many cases, going to trial can mean a longer time to receive an award, so you need an attorney who is in it for the long haul.
Negotiations with insurance companies can certainly drag on, but it can take several months or longer for a case to be heard in court. Another difference is the amount of work it takes to litigate a case compared to negotiating.
For instance, there is the discovery process in which documents and information are gathered. Depositions are given, in which both sides will answer questions presented by the other party’s attorney. Motions could be filed, such as requesting evidence be inadmissible in court.
While negotiating will require presenting certain evidence to insurance adjusters – or the defendant’s attorneys if negotiating a settlement before trial – the process to file a lawsuit can require greater effort and procedural steps in many cases.
All of this requires time, effort, skill and knowledge. Attorneys may strive to settle the case with the insurance company or with the defendant prior to trial, but it can be a tremendous help to start preparing the case as if it is going to trial. As such, it’s important to secure legal representation with an attorney who has trial experience.
If you’re in the Aurora area, contact D.J. Banovitz to set up a consultation so you can discuss your case – including prospects for going to trial. Call (303) 300-5060 to set up your appointment.