If you’re like most of my clients, you probably would like to avoid going to court. The good news is most cases don’t. They’re settled out of court instead.
But sometimes, if it’s in our clients’ best interests to tell their story to a judge and jury because the insurance company and the defendant aren’t playing nice and won’t give them a fair offer, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
One question clients often ask us is: How do we decide whether to settle or go to court?
Insurance Companies Don’t Want to Go to Court Any More than You Do
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle. Some of the most appealing reasons for both sides to want to reach a settlement are:
- Jury uncertainty – You can pick a jury, but you cannot control them once they are seated in the juror’s box.
- Compensation assurance – Settling allows you to eliminate the variable of not knowing how much a court may or may not award the plaintiff (you).
- Public image – Who knows what ripple effects the jury’s decision could potentially have on how the plaintiff is portrayed by the insurance company’s lawyers?
- Most insurance companies are for-profit businesses – Jury trial expenses can add up fast. Likewise, the plaintiff’s court expenses are paid out of any settlement money.
With that said, the insurance company should know your attorney is 100% willing and able to take your case to trial.
The willingness to take cases to trial affords us the ability to try to negotiate your case from a position of power. If the insurance company is under the impression that you and your attorney have any hesitation about presenting a strong case to a jury and judge, they might feel they have the upper hand and withhold some of the compensation you may deserve.
Understanding Your Options for Settlement or Trial
Whether it’s in your best interest to try to settle or go to court, we do our homework. And from day one, we involve each and every client in their case. We try to keep you informed and we ask that you do the same with your legal team.
We ask a lot of questions. We want to know what happened, who was involved, and how you were impacted. We research how the law applies. If necessary, we speak with doctors, insurance companies, state agencies, witnesses, and experts to try to determine all the facts of your case, not just what may be favorable to you. We’re not looking for quick easy answers. Our goal is to try to obtain the most compensation that our clients may deserve. The more we know, the better we can represent you.
As we said, insurance companies typically don’t want to go to court any more than you do. But if we feel they are not being fair, and we believe a jury trial is in your best interest, we won’t hesitate to go.
While most of our cases are settled out of court, if your case does go to court, we will try to prepare you every step of the way.
Get a FREE Case Evaluation from North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
Our law firm is one of the largest personal injury firms in North Carolina. And we have vast resources to draw from. Some of our best resources, in my opinion, are our paralegals, administrators, and others who work “behind the scenes” with our lawyers to help research and prepare your case – for a possible settlement or trial.
Some of our staff members previously worked for the very same insurance companies we deal with day in and day out. So they know their negotiation tactics.
When there’s no doubt on the insurance company’s part that we are ready, willing, and able to challenge them in court, often a settlement may look very good to them. Whatever the course, we are with you all the way.
If you were involved in a car wreck, don’t worry about whether your case will settle or go to court. Let our experienced car accident lawyers discuss this with you once we have the facts.