Most personal injury cases are filed in state court. Under certain circumstances, the case may be filed in federal court or removed to federal court by the defendant. Common personal injury cases that may result in a lawsuit include:
- Car Wrecks
- 18 wheeler wrecks
- Wrongful Death
- Industrial Explosions
- Industrial Accidents
- Products Liability
- Premises Liability
- Dog Bites
- Jones Act and Maritime
- FELA Railroad Injuries
Car accidents are the most common form of personal injury lawsuit. After a significant decrease in the number of cases filed due to the pandemic, the number of personal injury claims involving motor vehicle crashes has significantly increased.
The large volume of personal injury lawsuits filed results in a limitation on how many jury trials may be conducted on an annual basis. As a result, many lawsuits ultimately result in a settlement during the trial preparation or discovery phase of the case. Court mandated mediation often results in settlements. Although it is reasonable for an injured person to want their day in court, it is often in their best interest to settle a case without the time, delay, and cost of a jury trial. This is where an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer makes a real difference. This is why you should consider Burwell Nebout as your personal injury lawyer.
Factors That Influence Whether a Case Goes to Trial
Skilled personal injury lawyers look at the physical evidence, credibility of the witnesses, viability of any defenses, legal theories, and the nature and severity of the injuries, when evaluating the potential success of a personal injury case. During the pretrial discovery process, evidence is produced and witnesses are deposed under oath. The documents and deposition testimony assist the attorney in further evaluation of the potential success of the case. Ultimately, the case is evaluated on the liability factors and damages suffered.
Generally, an insurance adjuster is assisting the defense attorney with the case evaluation. The insurance adjuster is often the most important person in the case since he/she will make the final decision on when to pay and how much to pay. The adjuster will make decisions with the advise and guidance of the defense attorney.
It is never prudent to negotiate your claim directly with the insurance adjuster without the assistance of any attorney. An insurance adjuster is trained to evaluate and negotiate personal injury claims. You are not. A quick settlement without a detailed case evaluation which may require a lawsuit to discover all the necessary evidence often results in a settlement that is far less than the value of the case.
The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys in A Lawsuit
Not all personal injury lawyers handle jury trials. Many personal injury lawyers are actually “settlement” lawyers. An experienced personal injury attorney has filed many lawsuits and successfully handled many jury trials. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer will know what cases require filing a lawsuit along with what cases require an actual jury trial to obtain the maximum value of your personal injury case.
Benefits of Settling a Case Before Trial
Personal injury trials are expensive. The out of pocket expenses which will ultimately be deducted from a settlement or jury verdict may include:
- Filing fees
- Medical records and bills expenses
- Expert witnesses
- Deposition and video expenses
- Reconstruction and animation
There is a significant time expense. You will be required to participate in written discovery, a deposition, mediation and the trial. Often, this time expense will result in multiple days off work.
No matter how strong the evidence might be, a trial is not a guarantee of winning. A trial involves placing the ultimate outcome of your case in the hands of 6 or 12 jurors who have the authority to determine the facts of the case and amount of any damage award. A trial is a risk for you and the defendant. A well developed case with the full intention of a jury trial often results in a valuable settlement.
Reasons a Case Might Proceed to Trial
Just as a case may settle before trial based on proper preparation, some cases simply do not settle. A case may not settle due to the difference in evaluations between you and the defendant. Cases may not settle due to the dispute simply requiring the parties to allow a jury to make determinations of liability and damages.
For these reasons, it’s important that in hiring a personal injury lawyer, you see that the attorney’s resume contains plenty of trial experience. No matter what, you want your lawyer to have the experience needed to feel comfortable and effective in the courtroom.
Preparing for the Possibility of Trial
Every experienced personal injury lawyer prepares a case as if it is going to trial. When sitting in negotiation with defense attorneys, your lawyer should know the facts of the case so well that each recitation is intimidating in its thoroughness and specificity. This familiarity with the facts is required as preparation for the trial proceeds. A successful and experienced trial lawyer will have a plan prepared for presenting evidence, witnesses, examinations and addressing the defenses presented.
The trial will consist of the following:
- Voir Dire (jury selection)
- Opening statements
- Witness direct and cross examination
- Jury Instructions
- Closing statements
- Jury deliberation and verdict
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Burwell Nebout Today
If you or a family member has sustained a personal injury due to negligence, the skilled legal team at Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers can help. We have successfully handled thousands of lawsuits resulting in settlements or jury verdicts.
Our experienced, compassionate team of personal injury lawyers understands the emotional as well as the legal complexities of suing for damages. We will work to maximize your return with the least amount of time, stress, and inconvenience. Whether we negotiate a settlement before filing a lawsuit, after the discovery process, before trial, or obtain a jury verdict, the lawyers at Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers are skilled and experienced. Contact Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers today at (281) 645-5000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.