Pros and Cons of Going to Trial

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In New York personal injury cases, plaintiffs often wonder whether to accept an out-of-court settlement or push forward to a potentially unpredictable trial. This is a pivotal choice, and it’s not a decision to make lightly.

The New York personal injury lawyers at Harris Keenan & Goldfarb have guided countless clients through this critical decision. The right choice often depends on the specifics of a case, and we have extensive experience with both jury trials and out-of-court settlements.

Advantages of Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial

While you never want to take a personal injury case to trial without first consulting your attorney, trials offer many advantages and potential benefits to injured parties. These include:

  • More Compensation: One of the primary reasons plaintiffs choose to go to trial is the potential for more compensation. Settlements often involve compromises, but a favorable trial verdict can lead to larger compensation awards, especially if the plaintiff has a strong case.
  • Public Accountability: Taking a case to trial brings public attention to the responsible party’s harmful actions. This exposure can motivate companies or individuals to be more careful in the future, possibly preventing future harm to others.
  • Setting Legal Precedents: Winning a trial can set a legal precedent, potentially influencing future cases and decisions. This can be particularly advantageous for cases that challenge existing norms or practices in the legal system.
  • Validation and Emotional Closure: For many injured people, having their day in court provides a platform to voice their grievances and share their story. A public trial can provide emotional closure by acknowledging their pain and suffering.
  • Thorough Examination of Evidence: The trial process ensures that all evidence is thoroughly examined and scrutinized. This can be beneficial for complex cases where the injured party has lots of evidence that strongly supports their claims.
  • Impartial Decision: A jury is composed of a group of people who are impartial to the case’s outcome. Their verdict is based solely on the presented evidence and legal arguments, which results in a fair decision-making process.
  • Motivating Reluctant Insurers or At-Fault Parties: Sometimes, the mere possibility of a trial can pressure responsible parties to offer a fairer settlement, especially if they are keen on avoiding the publicity and expense of a court battle.

Downsides of Taking a Personal Injury Case to Trial

Taking a personal injury case to trial certainly offers some benefits, but it’s also essential to consider the potential downsides, such as:

  • Uncertainty of Outcome: Unlike in a settlement, where both parties have some control over the agreement, the outcome of a trial is unpredictable. Even with a strong case, there’s no guarantee of a favorable verdict.
  • Time-Consuming: Trials can be lengthy affairs, often stretching out for months or even years. This prolongs the case’s resolution, delaying potential compensation and drawing out emotional strain.
  • Financial Costs: Going to trial is typically more expensive than settling a claim. In addition to attorney’s fees, there are costs associated with expert witnesses, court fees, and other trial-related expenses. If the case is lost, the injured party might also be responsible for some of the other side’s legal fees.
  • Emotional Toll: Trials can be emotionally draining, particularly for the person who is pursuing compensation. They may need to revisit traumatic events repeatedly, face cross-examinations, and deal with the stress of public exposure.
  • Public Exposure: Unlike settlements, which are typically confidential, trials are public. This can mean personal details and potentially embarrassing or private information being aired in open court.
  • Risk of No Compensation: If the verdict goes against the accident victim, there’s a risk that they’ll receive no compensation at all.
  • Potential for Appeals: Even if the injured party wins the trial, the other side might choose to appeal the decision, leading to additional legal proceedings, costs, and delays in receiving compensation.
  • Limited Opportunities for Reconciliation: Trials can polarize parties further. In contrast, settlements often allow for more amicable resolutions, preserving relationships and potentially leading to more cooperative outcomes.

Always Ask Your Lawyer Before Taking Your Case to Trial

If you are thinking about taking your personal injury case to trial, talk to your lawyer first. Their experience, knowledge, and familiarity with similar cases are essential to making an informed decision. Without an attorney’s guidance, you might hurt your case or lose your chance to recover the money you need.

Whether you take your case to trial or not, the New York personal injury attorneys at Harris Keenan & Goldfarb can protect your rights at every step. We have recovered more than half a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements, demonstrating our skill and tenacity. Call (800) 724-6529 today or complete our contact form for a free case review.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

The first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on whether or not you have a valid claim. Even if you do not have a strong case, an attorney may still be able to help you recover damages through negotiation with the other party’s insurance company. If your case does go to court, the judge will consider various factors in order to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation. These factors can include the severity of your injury, the cost of your medical bills, and the amount of time you missed from work.

The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury, the insurance coverage available, and the type of accident. In general, however, if you have suffered a serious injury that will require extensive medical treatment or result in long-term disability, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your legal options. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex claims process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a personal injury attorney. First, you want to make sure that the attorney has experience handling cases like yours. Second, you want to make sure that the attorney is licensed to practice in your state. Third, you want to ask about the attorney’s success rate. Fourth, you want to make sure that the attorney has a good reputation. Finally, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the attorney. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a free consultation to determine if we are the best choice for your case.

Once we decide to take on your case, we will then begin gathering evidence and investigating the accident. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and obtaining medical records. Once we have gathered all the necessary information, we will then work with you to build a strong legal case. If an agreement can’t be reached out of court, our attorney will then take your case to trial. Throughout the entire process, your attorney will be by your side, fighting for the compensation you deserve.