Do I have to go to Court?
A personal injury lawsuit typically has two outcomes: court or settlement. This means an injury victim does not have to go to court to resolve their case. Resolving a case in court means the personal injury lawyer proves the defendant was negligent in the accident. To prove the defendant was negligent refers to the personal injury lawyer showing the judge or jury that:
· The defendant had a legal duty to their client to protect them from harm by not causing an accident
· The defendant breached that legal duty by causing an accident that injured the personal injury attorney’s client. Many personal injury lawyers hire an expert to show the defendant breached their legal duty and how they did it.
· The defendant was the direct or indirect cause of the accident that led to their client’s injuries
· The personal injury attorney will present their client’s damages such as medical bills and lost wages to obtain money for their client
Personal Injury Lawyers do Prepare for Court, but Work to obtain a Settlement
A settlement is a lump sum or series of payments given to a client by a defendant. The exchange is done to keep the case from going to court. The injured accident victim accepts the money and drops the court case. Many New York lawsuits are settled out of court rather than by jury or judge.
personal injury attorneys often prepare for court, but work to negotiate a settlement on their client’s behalf. By preparing for court, they gather the evidence needed to prove the four steps of a personal injury claim listed in the prior section.
They also use the information to negotiate a strong, fair settlement in their client’s favor. They use the information as leverage because they show the defense that they will lose the case in court.
Can I Tell My Lawyer I do not want to go to Trial?
Yes. A client can hire a lawyer and not go to trial. Lawyers are paid to represent their clients. So they will advise their client whether they should go to court or settle the case. However, the final decision is made by the client.
The goal of the lawyer becomes getting a fair settlement. This goal involves a lot of hard work of:
· Calculating past, current and future medical bills
· Calculating pain and suffering and mental anguish
· Adding up any and all additional medical-related expenses, decreased income capacity and lost wages
It is an interesting fact that not many accident victims know the money available to them because of the accident. That is a fact that many insurance companies and defense attorneys rely on because they can offer a cheaper settlement that will not cover all the accident victim’s expenses. It is much harder for an insurance company or defense attorney to offer a cheaper, unfair settlement when an accident victim has legal representation.
Be Prepared for Tough Negotiations
Settlement negotiations involve offers and counteroffers prior to resolving the case out of court. The defense may not want to pay the fair amount immediately. Also, settlement talks may end without an agreement. There are often repeated stops and starts during negotiations.
Personal Injury Attorneys are Available to Represent an Injury Victim in a Settlement Negotiation
If you are injured in an accident that occurred in New York City, you do not have to go to court to obtain money for the injury. You do have to protect your legal rights. Hiring an attorney will help you protect your legal rights and get the legal guidance needed to resolve the case in your favor.
Be sure to hire a lawyer who has experience in personal injury settlements. Also, hire a lawyer who understands your type of accident and can negotiate a settlement that covers all your accident-related expenses.