For some people, all they know about personal injury is what they see in the movies and on television. They think that personal injury cases involve high drama and attorneys making inspiring closing statements. This isn’t how it works in real life.
What really happens in personal injury cases isn’t all that glamorous. In fact, over 90% of all personal injury cases never see the inside of a courtroom. That’s because most personal injury lawsuits settle long before they go to trial.
Trials are expensive and time consuming. Nobody wants to waste thousands of dollars on a trial if they don’t have to. When both parties retain reasonable attorneys, they can usually find a way to settle the case. It may not happen right away. You might not get as much money as you’d like. But, all in all, most cases do in face settle.
The other reason cases settle is because nobody likes the risk of losing. No matter how strong your case is, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win in court. A jury may find for the defendant. There are lots of reasons for this, such as:
- The jury doesn’t find your Augusta personal injury lawyer believable
- They just don’t like you
- Some of your evidence is excluded by the judge
- Your expert witness isn’t approved
- Some of your witnesses don’t show up
- The defendant has a surprise witness that you didn’t prepare for
Anything can happen at trial. This is why your Augusta personal injury lawyer will work hard to settle your case.
Can the Court Force You to Settle Your Case?
A lot of people think that because the court requires mediation, that they can force you to settle. The court will never force you to settle. They will require you to go to settlement conferences. But they won’t require you to agree to a settlement if you don’t want to.
Almost every court has a mandatory mediation program. This means that your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will have to get together and discuss your case. There will be an impartial mediator in the room to help move things along. The mediator’s goal is to find a solution that works for both parties.
You may have to go to mediation more than once. It’s usually pretty informal. It may even take place in the hallway outside the courtroom. Or it could be more official in a conference room setting. Either way, the objective is to find a way to settle the case so everyone leaves happy.
Can You Change Your Mind Once You Settle?
If you and the defendant come to agree on a settlement, your Augusta personal injury lawyer will draw up a settlement agreement. Both parties will sign the agreement. Then the judge will review the agreement and approve it. It will become part of the official court record.
If the settlement calls for the defendant to pay you a certain amount of money, he’ll have a deadline to pay the settlement amount. If he fails to do so, you can let the court know he didn’t abide by the settlement agreement. The agreement will then become null and void. At this point, your case will be reopened and you can go after the defendant.
For the most part, however, once you sign a settlement agreement, there’s no going back. The court will mark the matter as settled. They’ll officially close the case. Once this happens, you can’t say you changed your mind.
Your attorney is going to expect you to abide by the settlement. They don’t want to hear that you had a change of heart. Your attorney will work hard to get the defendant to agree to settlement terms. The last thing they want is to have to undo all of that hard work.
Call and Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney in Augusta, Georgia
If you get hurt in any kind of accident, you need to call and speak with a personal injury lawyer in Augusta. Your attorney can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. He can also answer any questions you may have.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation today. It’s absolutely free and you don’t pay a dime until you win your case. The defendant will have lawyers working for him and you should too. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. Let your attorney handle the legal side of things.