Chances are you’ve never had to file a personal injury claim before, so you might be envisioning a contentious courtroom battle. The thought of going to trial can seem overwhelming when you’re recovering from serious injuries, but the truth is that the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved out of court.
There are, however, some circumstances when proceeding to trial is the best option. For example, if the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement despite being presented with strong evidence of liability and damages, going to court might be the only way to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Let’s explore a few factors that could influence whether your case proceeds to trial:
1. The Strength of Your Evidence to Prove Liability and Damages
The best attorneys prepare for settlement negotiations as if they’re going to trial. This involves gathering all available evidence of liability and damages, and using widely accepted methods to approximate a fair settlement based on the data. The stronger your evidence of liability and damages, the less likely the insurance company may be to dispute your claim.
2. Whether You’ve Provided a Recorded Statement
It’s standard practice for insurance adjusters to contact personal injury victims within days of their injury-causing incident to obtain a recorded statement. Anything you say during that conversation may be used to challenge your claim. Even a seemingly benign statement might be taken out of context to dispute liability or the severity of your injuries. As such, it’s best to let your attorney handle this dialogue on your behalf.
3. The Amount of Compensation You’re Seeking
The higher the value of your claim, the more incentive the insurance company will have to dispute it. Insurers tend to invest more time, effort, and resources into investigating claims when there’s a lot of money on the line. If the adjuster finds weaknesses in your claim and a settlement cannot be reached, your case might proceed to trial.
4. Whether You’ve Taken Your Healthcare Seriously
Personal injury claimants have a duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate their damages. If your own negligence causes your injuries to worsen or extends the recovery time, the insurance company might challenge your claim. To avoid such a dispute, be sure to visit a doctor right away, follow the instructions of your healthcare team, and avoid any strenuous work and other physical activities that might aggravate your condition.
5. Your Social Media Activity
Have you or someone else posted a photo of you since the accident? Have you discussed the events that led to your injury or any details about your case? It’s common practice for insurance adjusters to review the social media accounts of claimants and their close connections. If you post anything that brings liability or the severity of your injuries into question, this might lead to a dispute and potentially increase the chances of ending up in trial.
At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, our goal is to obtain the settlement you deserve without having to go to trial. We will pursue that goal by gathering all available evidence, helping you avoid critical mistakes, and using proven strategies during settlement negotiations. But at the end of the day, we relish the opportunity to be advocates for our clients in a trial if the opposing party refuses to cooperate.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Spartanburg, call 864-585-3873 or send us a message online.