Settle a Personal Injury Case or Go to Trial
After you have been injured and you have a claim, your options would be to either handle the claim on your own, hire a lawyer, or do nothing. Working with an attorney would be in your best interest, however, since an attorney can give you the legal guidance to navigate your claim, and will act as your support system and will work in your best interest throughout the duration of your case.
Retaining an attorney also means you need to make the decision to settle your personal injury case, or take it to trial. The ultimate decision of whether to take a settlement or to go to trial always lies with the client, but it is the lawyer’s job to advise the client about the potential risks of going to trial versus accepting a settlement.
Settling a Personal Injury Case
A person should consider settling their case when the settlement offer is within a reasonable range of the value of the case, meaning that the settlement offer is within a likely range that a jury would reach at a trial. Whether a person can benefit from not taking the settlement offer and instead taking their case to trial would depend on if a jury is likely to do better than the settlement offer. The circumstance of each case is different, and it is important to consult with your attorney to decide what the best option is for you.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney’s professional license will say attorney and counselor at law, and so the counselor part is the role an attorney plays in this decision of whether the client should settle their case or take it to trial. That role is to advise the client of the good and the bad about their claim, if there is any. No lawyer can ever guarantee an outcome of a jury trial because you are putting a decision in the hands of twelve individuals, so nobody can tell what that decision will be.
However, what a Raleigh personal injury lawyer can tell you is past jury verdicts in this jurisdiction, cases similar to yours, have had this kind of a result. An attorney can also explain if jurors like or dislike a particular issue.
It is an attorney’s job to see the bigger picture and tell you when there is a real risk of possibly getting a less favorable outcome, such that maybe taking a settlement is in your best interest. On the other hand, your lawyer may advise the opposite, saying that you have a strong claim and jurors have done well with this claim in the past, so you should take your case to trial.
During an Initial Consultation
When meeting with a personal injury lawyer for an initial consultation, a person should first bring information related to their case. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle collision, you should bring the exchanged driver’s identification and insurance information, as well as a copy of your auto policy. It is also important to bring any information related to the treatment that you have received so far. In the example of the motor vehicle collision, you would bring discharge summaries from the emergency room or the names of any other healthcare providers whom you have seen between the collision and your consultation, and information related to any health insurance you have.