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Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Why Is My Personal Injury Case Going to Trial?

    Frustration with timelines can be a common issue in personal injury cases. But, for the most part, victims of negligence or those hurt in accidents want fast and speedy resolutions. An experienced Miami personal injury lawyer can help you seek damages in a trial.

    Why? Because those victims have to pay medical bills, and they want to put the incident behind them – yet, hold those accountable of what happened. Dealing with a personal injury case that goes on for months or even years only adds to the stress of lost income and, in the worst-case scenario, the loss of a loved one.

    Sometimes personal injury cases are resolved quickly. Whether it’s an individual property owner or a large corporation, the offending party knows that they are in the wrong and come to the negotiating table with good intentions.

    This, however, is the exception, not the rule. Whether it’s a cruise operator in Miami or a hotel in Orlando, many companies view personal injury claims as part of doing business. They recognize that legal liability is involved in their business, and they do what they can to manage costs.

    In what can seem inhumane and emotionally detached, these companies hire lawyers and deal with insurance companies to add red tape to the process. They attempt to limit their financial exposure even when neglect, poor security, or knowingly operating unsafe equipment or practices lead to injuries.

    With the right legal team, you can shorten the time it takes to receive compensation and hold responsible parties liable for injuries or wrongful death.

    Let’s take a look at why a personal injury case may go to trial and what you can expect.

    When Settlement Negotiations Fail

    Most people know someone who was in a car crash and, as payment, received a lump sum settlement. The settlements can go to paying for things like:

    • Lost income from work
    • Property damage
    • Medical bills
    • Pain and suffering
    • Other costs

    Sometimes, settlements happen quickly. Then, the insurance company or a lawyer presents you with an offer, and it’s yours to consider.

    However, the initial or even the first few settlement or payment offers are too small in many instances. These companies extend offers they hope you’ll take quickly due to external financial pressures.

    You have bills to pay, so any money helps, right? Wrong!

    An experienced Miami personal injury attorney who knows what constitutes a fair offer will make a massive difference in your financial situation. In addition, they’ll tell you which offers are reasonable and which ones to pass up.

    However, you must understand that the companies or any other organization you’re negotiating with are also considering their end game and constantly assessing your inclination to go to trial.

    Sometimes, when they think the risk is worth it, or there is a dispute around the extent of your injuries, the other party may feel the risk of going to trial is worth it.

    Other times, both parties are simply too far apart concerning the settlement terms that there is little chance of reconciliation. At this point, one or both parties feel like it’s best to present your case to a judge.

    Choosing a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer – Counting On Court Experience

    So, you’ve been through round after round of settlement negotiations, and you feel like the other side is still too far from where you need them to be. This can happen because they:

    • Dispute your claims
    • Feel like they have legitimate concerns around the circumstances of an injury
    • Want to extend the timeline and make you more inclined to take less money
    • Are trying to manage the financial risk exposure of a large settlement

    There are many more reasons why a personal injury case can go to trial. But, needless to say, it’s a nerve-wracking process, which is why having good legal representation is a must.

    When you’re hiring a Miami personal injury lawyer or an attorney anywhere else in Florida, take a look at the trial experience. 

    Having a good negotiator is a must, but you must prepare for the possibility of a case going to trial. Here, the stakes are simply too high to go with a firm with little to no courtroom experience.

    Read their reviews and ask them about when they’ve represented victims in court. Talk about the outcomes. Ask them about expectations.

    Above all else, you need to feel comfortable working with the legal team you hire. 

    Factors That Push a Case to Trial

    In most instances, companies or other large organizations will settle quickly to make an issue go away. But it makes sense if you think about it.

    Although the cost of medical bills, physical therapy, lost income, etc., seem significant to you, they may be minimal to a large company.

    Think about personal injury cases in the past against toy companies, car manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, etc. To these large organizations, paying even seven-figure settlements can often be the cost of doing business. To them, it’s a rounding error.

    By far, the most significant factor that will push a case to trial is that the defendant, whether it’s an individual property owner, a small business, or a multinational company, believes they can win. They have the resources to fight a successful case with polished lawyers, and they like their chances.

    Deciding When to Go to Court – Relying on a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer’s Expertise

    Knowing when to go to court and when to meet at the settlement table takes expertise. The wrong moves can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or even more money! So knowing how to move and what decisions to make will largely decide the outcome of your claim.

    Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding whether to take a settlement offer or take the case to trial. As usual, consult your Miami personal injury lawyer before taking any concrete steps.

    1. Timelines – How long will things take in a trial case vs. a settlement?
    2. Cost – Will your desire to make more in court mean anything after added legal fees?
    3. Outcome – Remember, you could lose in court. Is it worth taking the risk?

    Knowing when to accept an offer and when to push your case to trial can save you stress and money.

    Negotiations Will Continue Even During Trial

    One thing to keep in mind is that settlement negotiations will likely continue as your case moves into trial and during trial proceedings.

    Opposing lawyers – and your lawyer – will constantly assess what’s happening in the trial, and their expertise will influence how they negotiate.

    If, for example, your lawyer presents concrete evidence of fault or negligence on the part of the defendant in court, then an improved settlement offer is probably headed your way. The same goes for the other side.

    Sometimes settlements happen halfway through a trial, or they happen right as the case opens in a trial. Occasionally, opposing lawyers will bluff. They’ll say they’re willing to go to trial, but once they see how committed you are, they’re quick to settle.

    A good attorney will work closely with you and other parties like the following:

    • Police
    • Witnesses
    • Insurance Companies
    • Hospital Administrations
    • & More

    They’ll keep you updated on what they’re doing in court and communicate how things are going. So you should never feel like you’re in the dark as to the progress of your case.

    How Long Does a Personal Injury Trial Take?

    Sometimes a personal injury trial is open in shut. In these cases, it may take only months to resolve. This, however, is the exception, not the rule.

    You can expect a personal injury trial to last anywhere from 1-3 years in most cases. This is a general guideline, though, so your individual experience may vary. More prominent cases take longer, especially if they involve more than one plaintiff.

    After an injury, it’s perfectly normal to wonder, “How long will my personal injury case take?” Once again, talking to an experienced lawyer in your area will give you a decent idea of what to expect.

    Ideally, you’ll find a seasoned attorney who deals with cases precisely the same or similar to yours. They’ll likely know the process like the back of their hand and can tell you the pros and cons of taking a personal injury case to trial.

    When the evidence is on your side, the right legal team will handle your case appropriately, whether at the negotiating table or before a judge. They’ll give you the confidence you need no matter what course your case takes.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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