A lot of our personal injury clients ask us this question here in Tampa. Whether it be a commercial trucking accident or a premise liability case, the prospect of going to trial will be on your mind. If you’re reading this post an effort to get a better understanding of your situation before you talk to a personal injury lawyer, that’s understandable.
The truth is that most personal injury cases in Tampa will be settled outside of court. Some of course will end up going to court and you’ll have a better understanding of why after reading this post.
How Most Personal Injury Cases Are Settled
If you’ve been in a car accident, there are two ways to collect damages from the individual at fault. The most likely scenario will be that the at fault party or their insurance company will offer a settlement that you accept. If an acceptable settlement is not offered, then you can file a civil lawsuit in order to collect compensation for any injuries and/or damages.
A personal injury case can reach settlement when the at fault party or their insurance company makes an acceptable offer of payment to the injured party. This type of offer can be made before any lawsuit has been filed, while the case is actually in trial or while the jury is in deliberation. After the settlement amount is agreed upon, the injured party will relinquish the personal injury claim that they filed following the incident. They may also sign a release as directed by their attorney.
While it is true that filing a civil lawsuit could result in more money than a settlement out of court, taking a personal injury case to trial comes with additional risks and stress for all parties involved. As a personal injury law firm with years of experience, there is a good reason why most settlements are reached before a lawsuit has been filed.
Why Most Settlements Occur Before Going to Trial
Most personal injury cases will reach some form of a settlement if an insurance company is involved. this should come as no surprise, because these are businesses at the end of the day. It’s going to be more expensive for the insurance company if a personal injury case goes to trial. These businesses have the money to pay these claims and are expecting to have to do so.
Regardless of whether the case goes to trial, an insurance company is going to incur extra fees investigating a claim. If the case does go to trial, the insurance company loses even more control over the situation. It makes much more sense for them to offer a settlement before going to trial. Juries tend to be more sympathetic to the injured party in this case and do have the power to award them large pain and suffering damages.
We’ve also seen plenty of cases where the at-fault party was more likely to offer settlement early in order to keep the case out of the public eye. take for example a business is facing a potential PR nightmare after a defective product injures several customers. This business will likely act quickly to offer settlements to these customers in order to keep things quiet. In exchange for signing a confidentiality agreement, some companies may offer even larger settlements for personal injury cases in Tampa.
How Does a Settlement Benefit You?
There are several advantages to settling a personal injury case before going to trial in Florida. First, you need to know that taking a personal injury case to trial is a lengthy process. Most trials won’t begin until at least a year after the personal injury claim was filed. The actual trial can then last 4 months or even years if specific appeals are made.
Someone who gets injured in a car accident will likely have significant medical expenses. Many will need the money that they are seeking immediately to pay these bills. A trial is a stressful experience with ramifications that should be considered carefully before seeking out.
The Added Value of Privacy
Remember that a lot of defendants in personal injury cases will seek settlements in order to keep things private. This is also a potential benefit for the injured party (plaintiff) as well. If a personal injury case is taken to trial, most insurance companies employee legal teams specifically to fight these types of lawsuits. These are well-paid experts are going to do their best to discredit you and your claim in a public forum.
It’s true that a settlement may not yield as much money as what could be won by going to trial. However, the injured party is at least secure in the fact that they will receive financial compensation for their case. This is not true if the case is taken to court. While typically small, there is still a chance that the injured party could lose their case in court and receive nothing for their damages.
Why Settlements Aren’t Always Possible
It’s important to know that settlement is typically going to be in the best interest for both parties. If the injured party and the at-fault party are able to reach an agreement, then they can both move forward and put this incident behind them. The reason some personal injury cases go to court is because reaching that agreement is not always possible. From our experience as personal injury attorneys in Tampa, here are some of the most common reasons why settlement can’t be reached.
There are cases where the at-fault party refuses to offer any form of settlement. This could be because they believe they are not at fault for the incident. If this happens, your only recourse may be to take the case to trial. This would also be a good time to speak to a personal injury attorney if you hadn’t already.
There are also plenty of cases where both parties cannot agree to a settlement amount. In this situation, your journey may recommend taking steps to bring the case to court. This could get the attention of a stubborn insurance company. However, it should be stressed that this is exactly the type of situation where you would want to have a personal injury attorney representing your interests. An insurance company might be more likely to meet your demands if your attorney makes it clear that you’re not just blowing hot air.
So now you know why most personal injury cases in Tampa will sell outside of court. If you’ve been injured in a car accident or a related incident, then we urge you to contact a personal injury attorney.
If you are seeking the services of an experienced personal injury law firm in Tampa or St. Petersburg, Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group are here to help. Schedule a consultation with us today and we’ll show you what we can do for you. Give us a call at 813-225-2695.