Will My Case Settle or Go to Court?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Personal Injury Published on September 28, 2020 and updated on March 15, 2022.

scales and gavelMost personal injury cases are resolved in a settlement between both parties and compensation is generally issued by an insurance company. However, if neither party can come to a resolution, it may be necessary to go to court and let a judge or jury decide the outcome.

Below, Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices discusses several scenarios that may cause a case to not settle pre-trial and what you should expect if your potential case heads to court. An initial meeting with a member of our legal team is 100 percent free and confidential. You are under no obligation to hire us afterward.

Why Do Most Cases Settle Out of Court?

It is common for disputes over fault in an accident and resulting damages to be resolved through an informal early settlement. Most insurers and lawyers know that settling a personal injury claim out of court is ideal for both parties. This is because a trial can be an expensive and lengthy process.

The entire process could take months to years based on the particulars of a case. The longer a lawsuit goes on, the more legal fees and additional court costs.

Going to court is also riskier because there is no guarantee you will win. A settlement would at the very least allow you to recover some form of compensation for your injuries and damages.

Certain Reasons a Case May Head to Court

In some cases, heading to court may be necessary if you and your lawyer are looking to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Certain reasons may include, but not limited to:

  • Fault in accident is unclear – When fault for an accident is being disputed and neither party will admit blame, there are not many options left but to go to court to resolve the issue. Maryland’s pure contributory negligence law is very strict. Even if you are found one percent at fault for an accident, you will be barred from recovering compensation.
  • Lowball settlement offer – Insurance companies often want you to settle quickly by having you accept a low-ball offer in an effort to avoid paying what your claim may be worth. If the insurer is not willing to negotiate on a certain amount, you and your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit.
  • Demands are too high – An insurer may dispute your claim by stating that your demands exceed your actual damages and vice versa. If you feel that the other party is being unreasonable with a demand or you feel that you are owed what was requested, the case may go to court.
  • Insufficient evidence – Sometimes an insurance company may not accept paying for medical costs if they are not deemed reasonable and necessary. The extent of your injury must be supported by proper medical evidence.

It is important to note that insurance companies may be less likely to offer a favorable settlement if they know that a lawyer representing you has little to no trial experience. The lawyers at our firm have many years of litigation experience and are always ready to head to court if it is necessary.

What You Should Expect At Trial

A trial can allow injury victims to argue their case before a judge or jury who will examine all of the evidence submitted, determine what caused or contributed to the accident, and make a determination on whether the other party is liable for the victims’ damages.

Both parties would give opening statements describing what evidence is going to be presented. Your lawyer will explain how the other party is liable and how your injuries have impacted your personal and work life, as well as your relationships with loved ones.

These statements will likely be followed with expert witness testimony. He or she may use your medical records to establish the severity of your injuries and how the accident is directly linked to these injuries. During cross-examination, the other party will attempt to disprove the facts of the case. For instance, the other party may say that your injuries are pre-existing or not as serious as claimed.

Additional statements may be introduced from other expert witnesses or eyewitnesses to the accident followed by closing arguments. The judge may make a determination or instruct a jury of your peers to review the facts of the case and reach a decision. Once deliberations are over, a verdict would be read.

Find Out More About Your Rights

If you need legal help, we recommend speaking with one of Maryland personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Our firm has over three decades of experience helping injury victims and their families pursue maximum compensation. To date, we have recovered tens of millions on behalf of our clients.

Learn more about your rights during a complimentary consultation. It costs nothing to meet with us and there are no upfront fees if we represent you. You only pay us if we help obtain compensation for you.

We are ready to help you seek compensation. Call 410-907-3957.