Will My Personal Injury Case Go To Trial?
The short answer: it depends if you want it to or not. Most cases involving personal injury such as motor vehicle auto accidents are resolved before trial. The reason most cases settle before trial is that jury, as well as bench trials (a judge decides the case outcome), are so uncertain. Their outcomes are so uncertain that they create great risk for the litigants.
Once the case is tried in court, the parties essentially lose control over the case outcome and agree that final resolution will be decided by a third-party.
At times, the decision to go to trial is a difficult one because the offer on the case may be hard to accept, but also hard to turn down. Other times, the offer is so low, or non-existent, that trying the case is inevitable.
Keep in mind when deciding whether or not to go to trial that settlement negotiations held before the start of trial are inadmissible in court.
When deciding how to proceed, practical considerations such as expense, time and uncertainty, together with the relative strengths and weaknesses of the case, must all be balanced when deciding on whether or not to settle your Massachusetts personal injury case.
Keep in mind that a way to avoid the risk of trial is by mediating the case. Also, arbitration presents another alternative to going to court.
If you have an attorney, I would suggest heeding his/her advice regarding whether or not to try the case. For most litigants, a trial is not a pleasant experience. But at the end of the day, the decision on whether or not to try a case is a weighty one that is yours alone.