Must You Go to Trial to Get Compensation?
One of the worst misconceptions about injury cases is that going after compensation means you'll have to sue. To be clear, it is certainly possible you may have to file a lawsuit and go to court. However, very few injury cases actually go to trial. That doesn't mean it'll be a breeze or that you might not have to threaten or start a suit. Take a look at when and why a personal injury lawyer may encourage a client to sue.
1. Exhaustion of Other Options
For an injury lawyer, the goal is always to settle without so much as a legal threat. Most claims are handled by insurance companies, which means working with a claims adjuster to show the case is legit. The job of a claims adjuster is to minimize a company's exposure to legal losses, and an adjuster will typically want to settle every valid claim.
Even the best adjusters get cases wrong, though. If a claim is rejected or the settlement offer can't be negotiated to something more reasonable, there comes a point where suing might be the only path forward. In legal terms, this is oftentimes called exhaustion. Demonstrating exhaustion is important because judges frown upon cases that come straight to them.
2. An Uninsured Defendant
Although an uninsured defendant doesn't guarantee there will be a suit, it can increase the odds. First, they might be broke, and that means an injury lawyer may have to pursue a judgment and get a lien against the defendant's assets. You may even have to ask the court for a wage garnishment. Even if an uninsured defendant has the money to pay, they're not necessarily going to approach the situation the same as a claims adjuster. They may think they have better chances, or they might get emotional about the situation rather than trying to arrive at a rational outcome. You can anticipate these reactions by working with a personal injury lawyer.
3. Suing Many Not Mean that a Trial Will Happen
Notably, filing a lawsuit doesn't mean you're going to trial for sure. The judge may order both sides to resume negotiations. Also, the court will order the discovery of evidence, and something devastating might turn up when the defense hands over materials. Even if the case goes to trial, there's a chance you might still get a settlement. Until the jury has convened, both parties are allowed to rethink what's happening and settle the case.