When someone has been injured in an incident, the chance of the personal injury case going to court is largely determined by the specifics of the situation. Generally, the majority of these cases do not require a trial, with an estimate of over 90% of all cases coming to a resolution outside the courtroom. Here, we will talk about the elements that influence whether or not a personal injury case is decided in court or is settled outside of a courtroom.
Difference Between a Settlement and a Trial
A settlement is an agreement reached between the parties involved in a personal injury case, in which the defendant agrees to pay a certain amount of money to the plaintiff in exchange for dismissing the case. This means that the case will not go to trial, and the parties will not have to go through the time and expense of presenting their arguments in court.
Reasons Cases Go to Trial
There are several reasons why a personal injury case may go to trial, rather than being settled out of court:
- One reason is if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the amount of compensation that should be paid to the plaintiff. In this situation, the case will go to trial, and a judge or jury will decide the number of damages that the plaintiff should receive.
- Another reason a case may go to trial is if the defendant denies that they are at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries. In this situation, the parties will present their evidence and arguments in court, and the judge or jury will determine who is at fault.
- Finally, a case may go to trial if the parties are unable to agree on the terms of the settlement, such as the length of time that the defendant has to pay the damages or the terms of any non-monetary compensation that the plaintiff may be seeking.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Going to Trial?
One of the main pros of going to trial is that it gives the plaintiff the opportunity to have their day in court and have a judge or jury hear their case. This can be especially important if the plaintiff feels that the defendant is not offering a fair settlement.
Trials can take months or even years to complete, and the costs of hiring an attorney, hiring expert witnesses, and preparing evidence can be substantial.
Factors That Influence Whether a Case Settles or Goes to Trial
There are several factors that can influence whether a personal injury case settles or goes to trial. These include:
- The strength of the plaintiff’s case: If the plaintiff has strong evidence that the defendant is at fault for their injuries, they may be more likely to go to trial to try to get a higher award.
- The defendant’s willingness to admit fault: If the defendant is willing to admit fault and offer a fair settlement, the case may be more likely to settle out of court.
- The plaintiff’s willingness to accept a settlement: If the plaintiff is willing to accept a fair settlement, the case may be more likely to settle out of court.
- The plaintiff’s financial resources: If the plaintiff does not have the financial resources to cover the costs of going to trial, they may be more likely to accept a settlement offer.
- The complexity of the case: If the case is complex and involves a large amount of evidence, it may be more likely to go to trial.
Whether or not a personal injury case goes to trial is largely determined by the specific circumstances of the case. While the majority of cases are settled out of court, there are situations where a case may go to trial, such as if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the number of damages or if the defendant denies fault.
There are both pros and cons to going to trial, and it is important for individuals to consider their options and seek the advice of an experienced attorney that specializes in personal injury law in Toronto, before making a decision. Ultimately, the decision to accept a settlement or go to trial will depend on the specific facts of the case and the individual goals.