The Risk Involved With Going to Trial in an Ohio Personal Injury Case

October 31, 2012

Auto Accidents, Misc. Topics

personal injury trialOver the course of an Ohio personal injury case, both an attorney and a client face several tough decisions.  A client must choose between skilled personal injury attorneys, decide which medical treatment to seek, and make the final determination on whether or not to settle.  From the attorney’s perspective, strategy, planning and negotiation involve difficult decisions.  One of the most important determinations an attorney and client must make is whether or not to take a personal injury case to trial.  There are several risks that need to be weighed by all parties before making that decision, as it is one of the most critical in the personal injury process.

The first, and probably most prevalent risk involved with going to trial is the jury.  Any lawyer who tells you they can predict how a jury will rule, and what damages they will award, is not being completely truthful.  The fact of the matter is that forecasting how a jury will feel about your case is extremely difficult.  Sure, there are personal injury lawyers with multiple years of experience.  They may have had 100 cases just like yours, and a cash-value range they can give you.  Ultimately, the fate of your case will rest in the hands of people you’ve never met before.   They may see the facts in a completely different light than you do, and they may like the way opposing-counsel paints an accident scene more than the way in which your lawyer does.  You just don’t know.

There is always the risk that the jury will return less than what you were offered during settlement negotiations.  This is a huge factor, as it can serve to take money out of both the client and the lawyer’s pockets.  They may not share the same understanding as to why you had to see a chiropractor, and may have little sympathy for the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a result of your accident.  Of course, there is always a chance that they will offer more, but in typical accident cases that seems unlikely.

Finally, there is a chance that either a client or an attorney will perform poorly.  Everyone has “off-days”.  As much most would like to think it wouldn’t happen the day of the trial, it is a possibility.  The attorney may not be as crisp as he would like, or the client may come off as disingenuous when in the courtroom.  It is safe to say most clients don’t have much, if any experience in the courtroom – this makes the potential for nervousness and a slip-up more likely.  These little mistakes can affect a trial in a huge way, and result in the client receiving a less-than favorable judgment.  Lastly, there is a chance that the jury just doesn’t side with you, or your attorney.  As much as the jury duty process preaches unbiased decisions, some people subliminally make character decisions based on intangibles.

When making the decision on whether or not to go to trial in a personal injury case, one thing is clear.  The help of a skilled and experienced Ohio personal injury attorney is essential.  To receive a free consultation from attorneys experienced in Ohio personal injury law, automobile accidents and damage to personal property, contact the Ohio law firm of Slater and Zurz at 330-762-0700 or toll free 1-800-297-9191.  You can also visit slaterzurz.com for more information and to schedule a free consultation.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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