Securing financial justice and getting the chance to tell your story publicly are some of the pros of going to trial. Meanwhile, the cons of going to trial include waiting longer to receive a case decision and placing the outcome of your case in the hands of a jury.
Many civil cases settle before going to trial. This means if you receive compensation, it will likely come from an insurance company. Here, you wouldn’t have to worry about arguing your case at trial. A personal injury attorney can explain your legal options, as well as the pros and cons of going to trial.
What Are the Pros of Taking Your Case to Trial?
The pros of taking your case to trial instead of settling may include:
The Court May Bring the Defendant to Justice
Securing compensation could be just one of your legal goals. You may also want the at-fault party to receive a judgment in court. This may bring a sense of closure that helps you rebuild your life and move forward.
Keep in mind that civil court and criminal court are two different systems. The criminal court system imposes fines, jail times, and other penalties on guilty parties. The civil court system levies financial penalties on defendants when they hurt others due to their carelessness or recklessness.
You Can Share Your Story Publicly
You might feel a sense of relief after telling your story in front of a jury. Also, sharing the details of your case in your own words allows others to empathize with you.
Bringing your case to trial means it is now public. This kind of exposure could deter the defendant from harming others in the future.
The Cons of Taking Your Case to Trial
The cons of going to court include:
You May Have to Wait Longer to Receive the Compensation You Need
It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to complete a civil lawsuit. That’s because trials can take a long time. The process generally involves:
- Filing a complaint against the defendant, which outlines the damages you suffered
- Filing your case within the appropriate deadline
- Preparing your case for trial
- Adhering to courtroom procedures
- Gathering a jury
- Preparing witnesses to speak about your case
- Attending trial
- Closing statements made by each side
If you want to file a lawsuit, you must adhere to your state’s statute of limitations. This deadline outlines how long you have to file your case in court. Your filing period depends on where your injuries happened, the parties involved, and your age. When you work with a lawyer, they can explore your case’s deadline and manage it accordingly.
You Place the Outcome of Your Case in the Hands of a Jury
While your attorney will have a say in which jurors serve in your case, you leave the outcome of your case in the hands of others. If you decide to settle before going to trial, you have more control over your settlement. There is no guarantee that going to trial will yield more money than negotiating with an insurer.
What Happens if You Settle Your Case Instead of Going to Trial?
After learning about your legal intentions, the liable party may extend a settlement that accounts for your economic and non-economic damages. If this offer benefits your situation, you may choose to accept it. In this instance, your case would end, and you wouldn’t go to court to seek compensation.
Yet, it’s worth noting that while most injury cases settle through negotiations, that’s not the case for everyone. Some insurers do everything possible to deny a claimant’s compensation, even questioning the cause of their injuries. Other insurance companies issue low settlement offers, claiming: “That’s the best we can do.”
You have every right to refuse a settlement if it doesn’t meet your needs. A lawyer can assess any settlement offers and advise you on whether to accept or reject them. They can also explain the pros and cons of going to trial and what taking your case to court could require.
Reach Out to Us to Learn About the Pros and Cons of Going to Trial
If you want legal advice about taking your case to trial, contact Shulman & Hill. We can listen to the details of your case and explain your legal options. Our firm has experience settling cases at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. Get started on your case by contacting our team for a free consultation. You can reach us 24/7 by calling 212.221.1000. There is no obligation to partner with us––just a chance to have your story heard.