It’s a very common misunderstanding. Clients assume that if they go and hire a lawyer for a car wreck or personal injury case, they will be “going to court.” This is not entirely accurate. In fact, it’s rarely accurate at all.
The Job of Your Personal Injury Lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer for your car wreck or personal injury case is not the same as “going to court.”
This is true since only about 1% of Florida Car Wreck cases that are handled by lawyers end up in a trial.
Only about 40% of them end up as even an official lawsuit.
FORTUNATELY FOR CLIENTS (AND THEIR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS) MOST CAR WRECK OR PERSONAL INJURY CASES WILL BE SETTLED PRIOR TO THE FILING OF A LAWSUIT.
This means that if your personal injury case is settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit, it will never become an official lawsuit and therefore cannot go to trial since the lawsuit is the start of the litigation process which ends with the trial.
Chances Are Your Personal Injury Case Will Settle Without Having to Go to Trial
Even if your personal injury or car wreck case can’t be settled prior to filing the lawsuit, chances are that the case will be settled before the litigation process results in a trial. In fact, 99% of those cases that get into the lawsuit process settle before any trial. This concern comes up regularly with new clients since many are afraid of the litigation process and are concerned about making their private personal injuries public with a court being involved.
The Settlement Conference
Trials are becoming rarer these days since nearly every court in the country requires the parties to have a settlement conference before the trial. In prior years, if your lawyer filed a lawsuit for a car wreck case. The case would be set for trial and unless one party asked the other to consider settling the case, the topic of resolving the case would never get brought up. This resulted in many cases going to trial simply because neither party wanted to be the first to broach the subject of a potential settlement.
In more modern days, the courts figured out that this was not good for the system or the parties, basically requiring each end of every lawsuit to go to trial simply because no one wanted to bring up the idea of settlement. This reluctance stemmed from the nature of the adversarial process itself. As opposing parties, you are programmed to not ever show weakness to the other side.
Historically, bringing up the subject of a potential settlement first could reveal that your side feels vulnerable about your chances to win. So, the result was that no one would bring the subject up and this led to many trials occurring for cases that would otherwise be settled without a trial.
The courts started realizing that some of these trials were unnecessary and started by making settlement conferences voluntary but making a point to allowing the court to be the party to bring up the idea of a settlement conference. This took the burden off the parties to bring up the subject of the settlement. The settlement conference was given the official name of mediation and it became hugely popular with the court system and the judges for one major reason, it worked. In fact, it worked so well that nearly every court handling car wreck and personal injury cases in this country, now require that every case go to mediation before any trial date is set.
The Mediation Process
Mediation has made it possible for cases to go to the lawsuit stage but not go to trial. It created an escape hatch for both parties to use after they have litigated the case for a while but short of having to take the case to a jury trial. Mediation has also made the statistical chance that your lawsuit will end up in a trial as low as 1%.
In sum, hiring a lawyer for a car wreck or personal injury case only means that a lawyer is going to try and settle your case. Only in a minority of those cases will it even result in a lawsuit being filed. Even if it is filed as a lawsuit, there is an extremely small chance it will go to trial these days.
Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.
If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.