When thinking of an attorney, most people visualize them in the courtroom arguing their case in front of a judge and jury. While this may be an everyday scenario for trial lawyers, many types of lawyers rarely set foot in the courtroom. Some of these are estate lawyers, business and commercial lawyers, and personal injury lawyers.
If you're looking for a personal injury lawyer and are wondering if your case will be taken to court, the answer is probably no. Most of these cases are easily settled outside of court. But, on the off-chance your lawyer needs to take the case to the courtroom to get you the compensation you deserve, then they should be ready to represent you in front of a court of law.Settlement
The first thing your attorney will do is try to settle the case outside of court. This saves everyone time and money, and while the return may not be as high for you, it'll likely be worth it not to testify in court and be dragged through the process of a lengthy trial.
There are some cases where settlement just isn't an option and neither side is able to negotiate fair compensation for you. This usually happens if the details of your case are unclear or undecided upon by both sides. If the defendant believes they were not at fault for the injuries sustained, if there is conflicting evidence on the case, or if the plaintiff may have contributed to their accident due to negligence, the defense's attorney or attorneys may try to get out of paying a large settlement, or maybe even nothing at all.Lawsuit
When both sides can't agree on fair compensation, the next step is for your attorney to file a lawsuit. This is the start of the long court process. Remember that, while it is uncommon for personal injury cases to go to court, your lawyer wouldn't make this decision lightly. A trial is time consuming and costly for all involved, including for your lawyer, so this is only done in cases where it's necessary and where your lawyer believes they have a good chance of winning.Lawyers' Fees
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Contingency means they are only paid once you win the case, and they are paid a percentage of the amount you are awarded after the case is closed. However, there's one thing you should know that you may not know already.
In most cases, when a lawyer works on contingency, they'll take about a third of your settlement as payment. But, should you go to trial, most lawyers will take an increased percentage. This should be taken into consideration if you're discussing options with your lawyer. While going to trial may award you more in the long run, you may lose more of it as payment. So, if settling is an option, it may be the better one for your situation.Conclusion
Overall, should your lawyer be ready to go to court? The answer is yes, you should seek out an attorney who is prepared to represent you in court should that day come. However, in the vast majority of personal injury cases, you'll likely be able to save time and money by settling out of court. Regardless, it's important to have an attorney on your side who is experienced in personal injury and ready to fight for you.