Most personal injury claims are settled without going to trial. For injury lawyers, though, lawsuits are an option when there are no other ways to settle a dispute. Clients should understand what makes an attorney decide it's time to cut off negotiations and sue. Let's look at three reasons injury lawyers may take their clients' cases to court.
The Two Sides Can't Arrive at a Number
Your goal in negotiating with an insurance company or an at-fault party is to settle. Even if a defendant is comfortable with the idea of settling a claim, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be agreeable to the compensation you're asking for. It's not uncommon for injury lawyers and defendants to go back and forth in negotiations, but there does come a point where the case has to move forward.
Bear in mind that suing doesn't commit you to go to trial. It does, however, let the other side know you're not happy with the negotiations. Pre-trial actions, especially the discovery process, can also make it clear that the defense should settle to avoid risking a more expensive judgment from a jury. Until a jury enters deliberations, the two sides have the right to settle the case, and it's not uncommon for them to settle as litigation moves forward.
Negotiations depend on both sides bargaining in good faith. If the defense is trying to delay a settlement to get you to accept a lower price tag, for example, that might be seen as bad faith in negotiations. This is especially the case if the defense seems to be dragging the case out for many months or even years. No matter how patient you may be, there comes a point where suing might be the best option.
Getting More Evidence
When injury lawyers are convinced the defense has more evidence that they're revealing, there's only one way to compel that disclosure. By suing, you'll gain access to the discovery process. This means the court will order the defense to turn over all of the evidence they have. For example, a store involved in a slip-and-fall case might have to turn over surveillance tapes and maintenance logs.
If a defendant fails to turn over evidence, the court can draw an adverse inference. That means the judge will assume whatever the evidence was must have been maximally harmful to the defense's case. Likewise, if the case goes to trial, the judge will tell the jury to make this assumption.
For more information about how hiring injury lawyers can help a case move forward, contact a local practice.Share
13 October 2020
After I was in a car accident, I wasn't sure what I was going to do in the future. I had some really significant back and neck pain, so I started talking with a lawyer about how to recover some of my losses. I began working with an attorney to take care of things, but I was nervous about how the process would unfold. I began working with the attorney to evaluate every component of the incident, and help me to decode the problems I was faced with. We worked on learning more about the lawsuit, and it helped me to make sense of the situation. Learn more about accidents on this blog.