When Should You Take Your Personal Injury and Accident Case to Trial?

by Aaron Gartlan

November 6, 2013 | Frequently Asked Questions

The answer to that question goes back to proving and demonstrating liability, injuries and damages and overcoming defenses through early and thorough trial preparation, from the very beginning, in an effort to add value to the case, maximize recovery and address unsafe conditions. You go to trial when the necessary witnesses are located and interviewed, depositions are taken, documents are gathered, paper discovery is completed, necessary experts are retained, and the case is worked up and prepared for trial. This puts the personal injury and accident lawyer and law firm in the best position to prove and demonstrate liability as well as injuries and damages and overcome defenses in an effort to add value to the case, maximize recovery and address unsafe conditions. This serves to protect the public by sending a message that people and businesses that violate rules and expose the public to unnecessary danger will be required to pay in full measure.

At the point which your case is set for trial, you have to make a decision regarding any amount offered for settlement. Does that amount serve to maximize recovery? Have you gotten every penny you can out of the case? If the answers are no, then you must answer the question: Do you stand to gain money by taking the case to trial? Trials can be expensive, risky and time consuming for both sides. Therefore, you have to believe that time and money will add value to the case and maximize recovery. No one can guarantee that, but once the case is worked up and prepared for trial, the lawyers and law firm should have an opinion as to whether or not value can be added to the case by going to trial. A further consideration is whether a verdict larger than the settlement offered will stand on appeal.

The easiest decision to make is when the company offers a very low amount nowhere in the ballpark of the case evaluation. The more difficult decision is when the offer is pretty close to what you feel the case is worth monetarily. Again, this decision should be made after careful consultation with your personal injury and accident lawyer and your questions are answered.


Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.

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