If you have been injured in an accident in New York City that resulted from another party’s action or inaction, you deserve compensation for your losses. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to recover medical expenses. Lost wages due to missed time at work. And even a monetary award for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to your injuries.
Most personal injury cases in New York are resolved via a negotiated settlement with an insurance company. A settlement is usually a one-time payment that is agreed upon outside of court. However, some circumstances may warrant further legal action. If the compensation you are being offered does not cover your losses, your personal injury lawyer may suggest that you take your claim to court as a lawsuit.
Yet, while there are many benefits to taking your claim before a judge and jury, there may also be some potential disadvantages. It is important to be aware of these possibilities before deciding to forego a settlement in favor of a lawsuit. Here are the pros and cons of going to trial.
Pros of Going to Trial
Taking your personal injury claim to trial offers some significant advantages over settling out of court, including:
- Holding the at-fault party publicly accountable – Settlements tend to be confidential affairs. This means the public will never learn how much you were awarded in your claim. Furthermore, in a settlement, the defendant never has to admit fault. Going to trial makes the process public. That enables you can hold the defendant accountable for your injuries. This may act as a deterrent for similar behavior in the future. So you may save other potential victims from the pain and suffering you have experienced.
- Winning a potentially larger monetary award – When you take your claim before a jury of your peers, they might award you a much larger amount of compensation than you may have received in a settlement.
- Gaining meaningful closure for your ordeal – Recounting the circumstances of your injury and fighting for the compensation you truly deserve can give you a sense of closure that you may not be able to receive in a settlement. This may make it easier for you to move on mentally and emotionally.
Cons of Going to Trial
One of the main reasons most personal injury claims settle out of court is that there are some significant disadvantages of undertaking a lawsuit, including:
- Lack of privacy – Because trials are public, you will have difficulty maintaining your privacy during the process. This can be emotionally overwhelming for some individuals.
- Longer waiting time – In a settlement, injured parties should receive compensation within 30 days of agreeing. Conversely, trials can take a long time before they reach any conclusion.
- Uncertain outcome – When negotiating a settlement, you have some control over how the process will be resolved. This can give you a sense of certainty about the outcome. On the other hand, when taking a case to trial, you never know how much a jury will choose to award. If you do not have a particularly strong set of evidence that meets the burden of proof, the jury may decide not to award you anything.
Choosing whether to settle or take your personal injury case to court is incredibly important. Whether to go to trial or not depends on the unique circumstances of your case. Ultimately, an experienced personal injury attorney will know how to proceed and which option will allow you to maximize your recovery.
Contact an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney
When choosing a personal injury attorney, working with someone with the necessary skills to negotiate a settlement and the reputation for often winning in the court of law is important. Insurance companies know that if they are dealing with a law firm with a proven track record of getting results before a judge and jury, it will generally be in their best interest to make their settlement offer worthwhile for the client.
The experienced New York City personal injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP have won hundreds of millions of dollars for injured New Yorkers in both settlements and jury verdicts, and we are ready to put our skills and knowledge to work for you too.
Call us at (212) 779-0057 or contact us online today to learn more about how we can help.