Will My Premises Liability Case Go to Trial?
If you’re like most people, you haven’t had to go through the process of filing a personal injury claim. You might be envisioning a contentious courtroom with attorneys delivering impassioned opening statements and aggressively questioning the opposing party. But in reality, very few personal injury cases go all the way to trial, and it’s usually in both parties’ best interests to resolve the claim out of court.
Our Riviera Beach premises liability lawyers always strive to recover the full compensation our clients deserve without having to go through litigation. But unlike many other attorneys, we’re not afraid to go to court if the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement. Below, we’ve outlined a few factors that may influence whether your case will go to trial:
- The Strength of Your Evidence: The main factor in determining whether a premises liability case goes to trial is the strength of the available evidence. Generally speaking, if you have sufficient evidence to prove negligence, causation, and damages, and your premises liability lawyer uses widely accepted formulas for determining the value of your damages, it’s unlikely that the opposing party would refuse to settle. Important evidence may include surveillance footage of the incident, eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, records of similar accidents on the same premises, the incident report, medical and financial records, your personal injury journal, and photos of your injuries and the hazard that caused them.
- The Amount of Compensation You’re Pursuing: If you’re only pursuing compensation for a minor injury that hasn’t put you out of work, it’s likely that the cost of litigation would be higher than the cost of paying a settlement. But if you’re seeking a considerable financial award, the opposing party will have more incentive to dispute your claim, which might increase the chances of going to trial.
- Whether the Opposing Party is Cooperative: At the end of the day, the defendant has the right to refuse to pay a settlement no matter how strong your case seems to be. If the defendant refuses to cooperate, going to court might be the only option for recovering damages.
- Whether You’ve Made any Critical Mistakes: The defendants in most premises liability cases carry liability insurance. For example, if you win a slip and fall claim against a grocery store, it’s likely that the grocery store has an insurance policy that would cover your medical bills and other damages. While that’s certainly a good thing, it’s important to remember that insurance companies will do everything in their power to protect their bottom line. That means finding reasons to deny or reduce the value of your claim. You can expect the claims adjuster to scrutinize everything you say and do from the day of your injury to the resolution of your case. If you provide any recorded statements, fail to follow your doctor’s orders, or make any other mistakes that bring liability or the value of your damages into question, it may be more difficult to reach a fair settlement, thus increasing the chances of going to trial.