Once you file a personal injury claim against someone who harmed you, the defendant or their insurance company will look to pay out the lowest amount possible to you. At some point after you file, settlement negotiations are likely. The vast majority of personal injury claims, especially those involving traffic accidents, settle long before going to trial. Yet, some cases end up in court for a wide range of reasons.
Whether you choose to settle or go to trial depends on several factors. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and discuss the best strategy for your situation. Until you can meet with an attorney, we cover the advantages and disadvantages of settling and going to court.
Reaching a settlement agreement for your personal injury claim means that you and the other side, typically an insurance company, agree on a number that prevents going to trial and letting a court decide the amount of damages you receive. Settlement negotiations typically begin over the phone or via email. Negotiations typically do not occur in person.
Settling has advantages and disadvantages, so you need to weigh them and decide what’s best for your circumstances.
Taking your personal injury claim to trial involves each side presenting their argument and evidence to the court. In personal injury cases and other civil cases, juries deliberate and vote for an outcome based on the preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is used in criminal trials. A simple majority in the jury must find that your claim is more likely true than not for you to prevail in your claim.
Both sides in a personal injury claim have an incentive to reach a settlement agreement. Trials are expensive. The defense might have to pay more, and the extra costs related to trials sometimes diminish any additional compensation a plaintiff might receive from a jury verdict. Yet, sometimes settlement is not a viable option. Examples of situations where a plaintiff might choose to go to trial include:
If you have recently suffered injuries resulting from negligence or intentional harm, Louisiana law permits you to seek compensation for damages related to your injuries and associated losses. It’s never easy to know the right thing to do. However, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for you provides the guidance you need.
During a free case evaluation, your lawyer will review the facts of your claim and discuss the challenges and obstacles that might impact whether you accept a settlement offer or go to trial to let a jury decide the outcome of your case. The skilled legal team at Charbonnet Law Firm has extensive experience in the settlement, negotiation, and litigation of personal injury claims. Contact us today online or at (504) 294-3825 to discuss the details of your claim, your injuries, and strategize about the best path forward for your individual circumstances.
With over 50 years of legal experience serving families in the New Orleans area and surrounding Louisiana communities, our firm takes pride in providing clients with personalized legal services tailored to individual needs.
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