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Florida Personal Injury Cases: Will Your Case Go to Trial?

Most personal injury cases are lodged in state court. However, there are certain circumstances where the case may be filed in federal court or removed to federal court by the defendant. Common personal injury cases that could result in a lawsuit include:

  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Construction Accidents
  • Product Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Dog Bites
  • Boating Accidents

Car accidents are the most common form of personal injury lawsuit. After a noticeable decrease in the number of cases filed due to the pandemic, the number of personal injury claims involving motor vehicle crashes has significantly risen.

The substantial volume of personal injury lawsuits filed results in a limitation on how many jury trials may be conducted yearly. As a result, many lawsuits conclude in a settlement during the trial preparation or discovery phase of the case. Court-mandated mediation often results in settlements. Although it’s understandable for an injured person to want their day in court, it is often in their best interest to settle a case without the time, delay, and cost of a jury trial. This is where a proficient and seasoned personal injury lawyer, like those at Swan Law Firm, truly makes a difference.

Factors That Influence Whether a Case Goes to Trial

Proficient personal injury lawyers consider the physical evidence, credibility of the witnesses, viability of any defenses, legal theories, and the nature and severity of the injuries, when evaluating the potential success of a personal injury case. During the pretrial discovery process, evidence is produced and witnesses are deposed under oath. The documents and deposition testimony aid the attorney in further evaluation of the potential success of the case. Ultimately, the case is evaluated on the liability factors and damages suffered.

Insurance Companies

Typically, an insurance adjuster is assisting the defense attorney with the case evaluation. The insurance adjuster is often the most crucial person in the case since he/she will make the final decision on when to pay and how much to pay. The adjuster will make decisions with the advice and guidance of the defense attorney.

It’s unwise to negotiate your claim directly with the insurance adjuster without the assistance of any attorney. An insurance adjuster is trained to evaluate and negotiate personal injury claims. You are not. A hasty settlement without a detailed case evaluation, which may require a lawsuit to discover all the necessary evidence, often results in a settlement that is far less than the value of the case.

The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys in A Lawsuit

Not all personal injury lawyers handle jury trials. Many personal injury lawyers are predominantly “settlement” lawyers. An experienced personal injury attorney has filed numerous lawsuits and successfully managed many jury trials. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer will understand what cases require filing a lawsuit and which cases require an actual jury trial to obtain the maximum value for your personal injury case.

Benefits of Settling a Case Before Trial

Personal injury trials can be costly. The out-of-pocket expenses which will ultimately be deducted from a settlement or jury verdict may include:

  • Filing fees
  • Medical records and bills expenses
  • Expert witnesses
  • Deposition and video expenses
  • Reconstruction and animation

There is a significant time expense. You will be required to participate in written discovery, a deposition, mediation, and the trial. Often, this time expense will result in multiple days off work.

No matter how robust the evidence might be, a trial is not a guarantee of winning. A trial involves placing the ultimate outcome of your case in the hands of 6 or 12 jurors who have the authority to determine the facts of the case and the amount of any damage award. A trial is a risk for you and the defendant. A well-developed case with the full intention of a jury trial often results in a valuable settlement.

Reasons a Case Might Proceed to Trial

Just as a case may settle before trial based on proper preparation, some cases simply do not settle. A case may not settle due to the difference in evaluations between you and the defendant. Cases may not settle due to the dispute simply requiring the parties to allow a jury to make determinations of liability and damages.

For these reasons, it’s important that in hiring a personal injury lawyer, you ensure that the attorney’s resume contains ample trial experience. No matter what, you want your lawyer to have the experience necessary to feel comfortable and effective in the courtroom.

Preparing for the Possibility of Trial

Every experienced personal injury lawyer prepares a case as if it is going to trial. When negotiating with defense attorneys, your lawyer should know the facts of the case so well that each recitation is intimidating in its thoroughness and specificity. This familiarity with the facts is required as preparation for the trial proceeds. A successful and experienced trial lawyer will have a plan prepared for presenting evidence, witnesses, examinations, and addressing the defenses presented.

The trial will consist of the following:

  • Voir Dire (jury selection)
  • Opening statements
  • Witness direct and cross-examination
  • Jury Instructions
  • Closing statements
  • Jury deliberation and verdict

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Swan Law Firm Today

If you or a family member has sustained a personal injury due to negligence, the skilled legal team at Swan Law Firm can help. We have successfully handled hundreds of lawsuits resulting in settlements or jury verdicts.

Our experienced, compassionate team of personal injury lawyers understands the emotional as well as the legal complexities of suing for damages. We will work to maximize your return with the least amount of time, stress, and inconvenience. Whether we negotiate a settlement before filing a lawsuit, after the discovery process, before trial, or obtain a jury verdict, the lawyers at Swan Law Firm are skilled and experienced. Contact Swan Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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