Have you ever been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence? If so, you may find yourself in a settlement or trial (if a settlement cannot be reached). The trial process is quite taxing and even seems intimidating, but understanding the key factors and reasons behind these trials is crucial. Let’s discuss in detail.
What exactly is an Injury Trial?
Personal injury trials are different from criminal ones, with certain similarities. In an injury trial, there are two possible scenarios:
- A bench trial – where a judge makes the decisions.
- A jury trial – when a group of individuals determines the outcome and the possible settlement amount.
The factor that influences the allocation of damages is determining fault. You may not receive a judgment if you had more than 50% fault for the accident. However, if you were only partially responsible or not even at all, you will be awarded a percentage based on the level of fault attributed to the other party.
Understanding the Timeline of Trial
A personal injury trial is a time-consuming process. The duration may range from a few months to even longer if the party on the opposing side is reluctant to settle or disagrees with the initially requested amount.
The timeline consists of generally these 6 key steps:
- Forming a jury
- Stating opening lines
- Witness testimony and cross-examination
- Closing arguments
- Jury instructions
- Jury verdict
Pros and Cons of Going to Trial:
Now, let’s get into the details related to the advantages and disadvantages of opting for a trial in a personal injury case.
Advantages of Going to Trial
- Chance for a higher compensation: Trial awards often go beyond regular settlement offers, with juries stating better amounts, especially for pain and suffering. Choosing to go to trial may result in a more substantial financial recovery.
- A sense of justice: Many feel wronged, particularly when they receive low settlement offers from insurance companies. A trial can provide a much-needed sense of closure and justice,
Cons of Going to Trial
- Expensive and time-consuming: Trials are lengthy, meaning that you may not receive compensation for months or even years. Other than that, for trials, you need significant financial resources to cover legal fees and other expenses.
- The risk of an unfavorable outcome: Even after investing time and money into a trial, there is always a chance of losing the case. The judge or jury may side with the other party or offer an award far below your expectations.
Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from us at Edwards Sutarwalla Samani LLP. You can connect with us by dialing (713) 565-1353 or drop by our office located at 602 Sawyer St., Suite 490, Houston, TX 77007