Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

February 1, 2023 – Paul Hammack

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers | Hammack Law Firm | Call 864-326-3333

Under South Carolina law, individuals who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, fall, dog bite, or another type of injury-causing incident have certain rights. One of those is the right to a jury trial. Although this is one of the most basic concepts of our constitutional law, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina, know the truth is that approximately 95% of all civil cases result in a pre-trial resolution. This includes the most commonly known resolution, a settlement, and others such as binding arbitration, mediation, success on a motion, or when the defendant just gives up. Sometimes these resolutions may even occur before a lawsuit is filed, known as a pre-commencement settlement (the scaredy-cat defendant). Other times a settlement could occur just after filing and serving the lawsuit, during discovery, after motions, right before trial, at trial, or sometimes even after trial.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina, Explain When Your Case May Go to Trial

At the Hammack Law Firm, the moment we accept your case, we prepare like it is going to trial. However, we will also begin to aggressively negotiate with the other insurance adjuster or defense lawyer to get you the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and lost wages which are due now – not after a trial. If the defendant does not fairly compensate you, we will seek your remedies in court. To learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve, call us to set up a free consultation.

What are Some Signs that My Personal Injury Case Will Go to Trial?

Even though roughly 95% of all cases will settle before trial, some cases are more likely to go to trial. Besides a defendant, defense lawyer, or insurance adjuster who simply will not admit they were wrong (we all know someone like that), there are certain cases or issues that are more likely to go to trial.

These include some of the following:

1. Cases Against the Government

It’s just too easy to make a Star Wars evil empire joke here, so we won’t (although we kind of just did). But the truth is that cases against a municipality, county, state, or federal government actor or agency may proceed to trial at a higher rate than other cases. This is for a few reasons, but mainly because the attorney general, county attorney, town lawyer, or other “Of Counsel” to the municipality will only have a certain level of authority before a higher-up will need to agree to a settlement – which most of the time means really cutting into a budget or taxpayer money. They would rather go to trial than agree to that on the record before constituents. It is a little more complicated than that, but the basics are there.

There are also many specific and unique defenses for government actors, including certain types of immunity and special relationships that may make it harder to recover compensation at a trial than in other cases. This is why some lawsuits against the government will not settle and go to trial instead.

2. High Damages

If you or a loved one were seriously injured, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, you may have considerable damages. This means you may be entitled to much more compensation than other more common personal injury cases. Because of that, some defense lawyers and insurance adjusters would rather try their chances at trial than settlement.

3. Inadequate Insurance

If the defendant has low insurance thresholds, you may have to go to trial to get compensation over and above that amount. This is because a defense lawyer and insurance adjuster are often unable to offer more than the insurance policy, and the individual defendant may not authorize them to pay anything above that because it would come right from the defendant’s pocket. That means you’d have to get a judgment against the defendant and file it against him, her, or it, and hope they hit the lotto, inherit money, or develop the next smartphone alternative.

4. Comparative Fault

Sometimes you may have been partially at fault for the accident and your injuries. That’s okay because South Carolina law will allow you to recover compensation, though lowered by your proportional fault. However, some defendants and insurance adjusters will claim that your comparative fault is so much higher than is fair, and they will take your case to trial over it. This is especially true if there are bad injuries, the defendant is a government actor, or there are limited funds/policies.

5. Pre-existing Injuries

Suppose you had pre-existing injuries or damages before an accident that were exacerbated or accelerated due to your accident. In that case, a defendant might unfairly try to wiggle out of having to pay your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages based on this fact – even if you had a high school injury that was re-injured 30 years later. It’s not fair, which is why we fight back.

6. Other Types of Cases with Unique Issues

If liability is hotly contested or other unique factors are involved in your case, the issue may not be able to settle before trial. Your personal injury lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina, can help you and your family gauge which factors may be more likely to result in your case not settling.

What Can Help My Case Settle Before Trial?

We’ve discussed situations that may cause your case to go to trial, but what about those that may help your case settle? Some of these factors include the following:

  • Bad liability or conduct by a defendant (i.e., drunk driving)
  • Police ticketing of a defendant
  • Good photographs or videos of the accident or the accident scene
  • Bad injuries that are clearly related to your case
  • Witnesses to your accident
  • Prolonged recovery or damages, such as needing surgery or physical therapy years after the accident
  • The need to go on short or long-term disability or qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because of your injuries
  • Child injuries (defendants usually settle these to not look soulless, most times)
  • Many other factors can help your case settlement, including:

Hiring experienced personal injury lawyers in Greenville, South Carolina, such as one of our lawyers at our bodily injury law firm.

Injured in an Accident in South Carolina? Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Greenville to Help Your Case Settle Before Trial

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of accident, call our experienced personal injury lawyers at the Hammack Law Firm in Greenville, South Carolina, to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights under the law. Although a trial can be a good thing, especially when a defendant or insurance adjuster is not treating you fairly under the law, our compassionate and skilled team can immediately advocate your position to get the settlement you deserve. We have a proven track record of success doing that, as well as carrying cases through trial.

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us:

(864) 326-3333

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