Do I Have to Go to Court for My Personal Injury Case?
This question comes up constantly, and the answer is, “Not necessarily.” While a few people seem to relish the idea of sticking it to the person that injured them in a courtroom, the vast majority of our clients – and most people in general – probably would rather not go through the litigation process.
Ironically, a strong personal injury litigation team works to your advantage even if you never intend to set foot in a courtroom.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, litigation is defined as the “act, process, or practice of settling a dispute in a court of law.” Essentially, we’re talking about going to trial.
So why may it be important to choose a firm with a litigation practice even if you don’t want to go to court?
Why Do I Want a Law Firm With an Experienced Litigation Practice?
If you’re like most clients, you want the most compensation you can get, as fast as you can possibly get it. We understand that.
The willingness and ability to take your personal injury case to court becomes leverage. You want the defense and/or their insurance company to know that you’re willing and able to fight them in court. The benefit of using a firm with an experienced litigation practice is that the other side knows you’ll follow through. That you mean business. They know they can’t count on pressuring you into taking a settlement for less than you may deserve.
It’s a kind of cycle: you want a firm to have an experienced litigation practice (the ability to fight in court) so that you don’t necessarily have to end up in court.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm With an Experienced Litigation Practice?
If you are injured, there are a few key advantages to you when you choose a firm willing and able to fight for you in court.
1. You know your attorney isn’t just going to advise you to settle. Some attorneys may simply tell you upfront that they are not willing to go to trial. When an attorney or a firm is not equipped or prepared to go to court, they may advise you to settle because it is their belief that they have gotten you the best offer they can – even if effective litigation could potentially net you more compensation. The result is you may get less than you should, depending on the strength of your case.
2. Defendants can behave differently when they know the courtroom is a real possibility. Defendants, especially insurance companies, do not like variables. A judge and a jury are out of their control, and that can make them uncomfortable. Some would rather raise their compensation offer than face the unpredictability and expense of the courtroom – but only if they know you can and will take that step.
3. You’re probably less likely to end up in court. Because of the unpredictability of courtroom litigation, many defendants may choose to meet your reasonable compensation demands when they know you’re willing to litigate. This is often simply an economic decision.
How Can I Tell If a Law Firm Has a Strong Litigation Department?
There are a few ways. Do your due diligence and some research. One thing to look at is the firm’s history of going to trial. While you can’t necessarily equate courtroom appearances to skill, you can at least see that a firm is willing to litigate. That’s one part of the equation.
You’ll also want to know that the department is staffed and led by attorneys with experience and a good courtroom track record. For example (and not comparison), the litigation department at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin is led by attorney and shareholder Hoyt Tessener, who has a lot of experience in the courtroom. And Hoyt has handpicked his team, which has more than 200 years of combined legal experience
As impressive as the staff may seem, you’ll also want to look at how well they performed. That’s not a guarantee of future results, of course – every case is unique. It can, however, give you an idea of how well the team builds a case. For example, between January 1, 2019 and August 14, 2020, our firm’s attorneys:
- filed 323 lawsuits
- tried eleven cases to verdict
- achieved nine recoveries of more than $1 million, including one of $2.1 million
- assumed the role of lead counsel for more than 220,000 North Carolinians in a suit against the state seeking health benefits
- served on the steering committee of the GenX class action litigation arising out of the contamination of the Cape Fear River
Overall, our litigators have combined for more than 200 trial verdicts in their careers. In fact, we had a leading role in In re: Black Farmers Litigation, a suit against the government for discrimination in which we represented thousands of claimants, and won a $1.25 billion settlement from the U.S. government1.
Courtrooms do not scare us. Clearly.
Contact the Personal Injury Litigation Attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
If you’ve been hurt, you want to know someone is there to guide you. You want experienced help, honest answers, and a firm that’s willing to fight for you every step of the way – all the way to and through the courtroom. Call us today at 1-866-900-7078 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. If you’re getting pushed around, maybe it’s time to tell them you mean business. We’re happy to help you do just that.