3 Reasons Your Personal Injury Case Will Go to Trial
At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, we have enjoyed tremendous success settling personal injury claims on behalf of our clients. We credit this success to our detailed approach to cases, which allows us to effectively prove who injured you and why they must pay fair compensation.
In a small number of cases, however, settlement proves impossible. At that point, the only way to obtain meaningful compensation for our clients is to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. We do not take this step lightly. Fortunately, our legal team has the experience needed to litigate a claim before an Arizona judge. Below, we identify the 3 reasons why your case might not settle but end up in a courtroom instead.
#1: The Defendant Refuses to Admit Fault
Personal injury law is simple: if someone is at fault for an accident, they should pay damages to those injured. Most accidents are based on negligence, which means someone failed to act carefully and hurt you. Most of our cases involve:
- Car accidents,
- Truck collisions,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Slip and falls, and
- Similar cases.
If a person is not at fault, then they don’t owe you a penny. As you can imagine, many disputes arise regarding who is to blame for an accident.
Imagine you trip and fall in a store. There was some trash in the aisle which staff did not sweep up, and you suffered a concussion after falling. However, the store denies liability and says you were looking at your cell phone while walking down the aisle. In short, they blame you for failing to step around the trash.
Arizona recognizes comparative negligence, which will reduce the compensation you receive. If you are 40% to blame, you are entitled to only 60% of your damages. Consequently, a defendant has a strong incentive to blame you for contributing to your accident. When you and the defendant can’t see eye to eye on fault, you might need to go to trial. You must present evidence to a jury, who will assign fault between you and the defendant.
#2: The Defendant Does Not Want to Pay Fair Compensation
Another reason cases cannot settle is that the defendant doesn’t believe you deserve as much compensation as you request. They might agree that they are at fault—but they think you are being too demanding when it comes to compensation.
For example, you might have suffered a broken arm, shoulder injury, and concussion in a slip and fall. Your medical bills are $25,000 and you lost $15,000 in income as you recovered. You also request another $40,000 for your physical pain, inconvenience, emotional distress, and mental anguish. In total, you seek $80,000 as a fair amount for an accident.
The defendant (or their insurer) might think you are exaggerating the pain you feel, so they want to pay much less than the $80,000 requested. Or they disagree that you needed all the medical care you received. They might even go so far as to claim you could have gone into work even with the broken arm.
Disagreement on these issues can torpedo settlement discussions. You might need to present your case to a jury to get compensation and testify about how your injuries have changed your life.
#3: You Don’t Have a Lawyer
If you hire us, this won’t be a problem. But many people who try to negotiate without a lawyer’s help find that the insurance company is uninterested in settling. In fact, many insurers will delay any investigation into the accident. Months will go by, and you never hear a peep out of them.
Insurers have handled millions of claims, and they know that most people have no idea how to file a lawsuit or how to handle one. Ask yourself: do you know how to present evidence to a jury? How to make an opening statement? Few people do. For that reason, the insurer has little incentive to meet you halfway and try to settle—ever. In fact, they probably will dig in their heels.
A lawyer is an excellent asset to have. Your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations and remind the insurance companies of their obligations to handle claims in good faith.
Contact Karnas Law Today
Our personal injury lawyers are very experienced in both negotiation and litigation. We are not afraid to tell an insurance company, “See you in court.” We know how to win and will use our skills to your advantage. For assistance with your case, please contact our firm to schedule a consultation.