Will My Illinois Personal Injury Case Go to Court?
If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, the thought of spending the next several months or more in a legal battle can be overwhelming. It may come as welcome news that most personal injury claims are settled out of court with the at-fault party and their insurance provider, and when a settlement is possible, it can save you significant time and stress. However, it is sometimes necessary to elevate a claim to a lawsuit and pursue compensation through litigation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand whether this is likely in your case, as well as represent you throughout the legal process in pursuit of a fair outcome.
Personal Injury Settlements
It is almost always beneficial to attempt a personal injury settlement before taking your case to trial. Your attorney can help you determine the appropriate amount of damages to pursue, and draft a demand letter to deliver to the other party. Your lawyer can then represent you throughout settlement negotiations, leveraging testimony and evidence of negligence to encourage the other party to come to a fair agreement.
Compared to a trial, a personal injury settlement is more predictable in that you and your attorney will always know where negotiations stand, and before signing an agreement you will know exactly how much compensation that agreement entails. Settlements also tend to take less time than trials, allowing you to obtain financial relief sooner and saving you from the stress of extensive litigation.
What to Expect From a Personal Injury Trial
Although a settlement can offer many benefits, it is not always possible to achieve fair compensation through a negotiated agreement. If you find that the other party’s insurance provider is unwilling to negotiate in good faith or offer the compensation you deserve, your attorney may advise you to bring the case to court through a civil lawsuit.
In Illinois, personal injury trials are often overseen by a judge and decided by a jury of peers. Throughout the trial, you and your attorney will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony that speaks to the defendant’s negligence, and your attorney will also have the opportunity to question the defendant. The jury will take all trial proceedings into consideration and make the final decision regarding the amount of compensation to award.
Depending on the circumstances, the jury may award pain and suffering and punitive damages beyond what you may have been able to obtain through a settlement. However, it is also possible for the jury to award less than you feel you deserve. For this reason, it is important to carefully consider the benefits and risks with your attorney before deciding to take the path of litigation.
Contact a Lake County Personal Injury Attorney
At Schwartz Injury Law, we have extensive experience resolving personal injury claims through both settlement negotiations and litigation. We are committed to pursuing the greatest possible compensation for our clients using the method that gives them the best chance of success. Call us today at 708-226-9000 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Waukegan personal injury lawyer so we can get started working on your case.