If you’ve been hurt by the actions of someone else, you may bring a case in court in order to seek compensation for your losses. New York laws allow injured victims to pursue full compensation for their damages. If you bring a case, you may wonder if your case is likely to end up in trial in front of a jury.
The truth is that the vast majority of cases don’t end up going to trial. Some settle quickly after filing. Others settle on the courthouse steps a few minutes before trial. Some cases even settle in the middle of trial. Your personal injury attorneys can help you decide if it’s in your best interests to accept a settlement offer or if you should take your case to the jury.
One factor that makes a case more likely to go to trail is questionable or disputed facts. If the people involved don’t agree on what events happened that led to your loss, they likely can’t agree on who’s at fault. An example of this may be a car accident. One witness might say that the other side ran a stop sight. Another witness might say that you were speeding. This type of dispute can land a case in front of a jury to decide whose version of the story is more likely correct.
Even if you can agree on fault, you might disagree as to the value of the claim. The other side might admit that they’re at fault, but they might argue that their actions didn’t cause your damages. Medical experts might disagree about the cause of your injuries. Accountants might disagree about the value of your losses. These disagreements might prevent you from fairly resolving the case without a trial.
Preparing your case
Aggressively preparing your case may actually help you prevent needing to take your case to trial. As you prepare, the other side may realize that the evidence against them is insurmountable. Your personal injury lawyers might gather witnesses statements and expert opinions from medical professionals. They may prepare accident reconstruction visualizations. They might work with financial experts to reduce your future losses to a current dollar amount.
The result of all of this work is that both parties can narrow the issues before trial. When you have all of the evidence in front of you, it can become clear that the other side is liable for your injuries. This can make it more likely that you’re able to reach a meeting of the minds and settle on an appropriate amount for your recovery. The other side might accept that a trial isn’t likely to go their way. Although preparing for trial might be adversarial in some ways, there are other ways that aggressively preparing your case might actually help you stay out of the courtroom.
You may pursue a process called mediation in order to help you resolve your case. In this process, both parties sit down with a trained mediator. This person has training and experience in conflict resolution. They’re able to work with both sides in a professional way to try to reach the true issues and resolve the case in an acceptable manner.
You’re allowed to have your personal injury attorneys with you at your mediation session. Your attorney can help you make your mediation session effective by giving you guidance about settlement offers and about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Mediation is often an effective tool for resolving a case without a trial.
Working with an attorney
Only a small percentage of cases go to trial. When you have a skilled attorney advocating for you, there’s a good chance that you may be able to reach the result that you deserve without having to bring your case to a jury. Your attorney can work with you to discuss your goals and pursue a plan of action that helps you achieve justice in the courts.