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When to Take an Injury Case to Trial?

Injury cases can be a stressful and time-consuming experience, and many people may wonder whether it is worth taking their case to trial. While some injury cases make sense to take all the way to a jury trial, in most cases, it does not make sense. So how do you know if your injury case is one that should go to trial? To answer this question, you first need to understand what it takes to get an injury case to trial. 

What to do Before You Go to Trial

Just to go over some of the more significant events to get an injury case to trial:

  • Investigating the incident
  • Requesting and obtaining evidence
  • Written demand to the insurance company
  • Settlement negotiations
  • Filing of lawsuit
  • Written discovery
  • Depositions
  • Motions
  • Mediation
  • Medical exams

Not to mention all the emails, letters, meetings, and telephone calls along the way. The litigation process prior to a trial can last years, and getting a case to trial can also be costly. Retaining experts such as doctors or liability experts is not cheap, and there are court filing fees, mediator costs, and many other costs that can pop up along the way.

One scenario where you may consider a trial is when the insurance company offers what you believe to be a low offer, and you believe that you will be awarded more money should you take your case to trial. Another situation where it may make sense to go to trial is when the insurance company acted in bad faith by failing to offer you the policy limits in your case in a timely manner even after you presented them with evidence clearly showing your case is worth more than the policy limits.  

Learn From Previous Clients

Let me tell you a story of Amy, whose car accident injury case I helped defend in court several years ago when I used to defend injury claims in court for insurance companies. The driver who collided with Amy’s vehicle I defended in court was clearly at fault for the accident. The case lasted several months in litigation, and after mediation was held, Amy was offered over $10,000 to settle her case. However, she rejected every offer and took her case to a jury trial.

Amy claimed injuries to her spine, and she had significant past problems with her spine before the accident. However, months after the accident, she had surgery to repair her spine. The case went to trial, and we had a doctor who performed an independent medical exam on Amy testify that the accident caused minimal damage if any to Amy’s spine. The surgery she had was not needed because of the accident she was in, according to the doctor, we had to testify to defend her claim. Amy’s lawyer, of course, had a doctor testify as well, who linked Amy’s surgery to the car accident.

  • The verdict came in, and the jury awarded less than $10,000.00 to Amy. The jury did not link the surgery to the accident.

So, you may think that Amy should have settled her case prior to trial because she would have been awarded more money. However, it is not necessarily true. Sometimes, taking a case to trial can be about principle, and winning in court may mean more to the client than the amount of money awarded. Additionally, it can be challenging to predict what a jury will do, as they are just a bunch of strangers with each having different thoughts, opinions, and experiences they have gone through.

Dont Wait, Call Tate!

The decision to take an injury case to trial is a complex one, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of going to trial and to discuss the matter with an experienced Kentucky injury lawyer to determine the best course of action for your particular case.  If you are comfortable taking the risk to get the potential reward of a bigger payout in your case, you may just want to take your case to a trial.