Some personal injury cases should go to trial, and some should not. Roughly nine out of every ten automobile accident insurance claims are settled out of court. In many cases, a trial isn’t necessary, nor is it the only option, to recover compensation for a motor vehicle accident claim in Nevada. Often, but not always, choosing to accept an out-of-court is a much more beneficial decision than to proceed with a trial.
When to Choose a Trial
Sometimes insurance providers won’t put forth a reasonable settlement offer. They may dispute key facts of the claim and refuse to uphold their obligations within insurance contracts. When bad faith, fraud, or malfeasance are factors, a trial may be necessary to recover fair compensation for the claim.
A trial in Nevada can also help settle disputes regarding fault for the accident. A trial gives each party an opportunity to present their evidence and let the court decide. However, just as it is possible to prove the other party’s negligence and fault, there is always the possibility that the opposite will occur. If that happens, the damage award can be considerably less than any pre-trial settlement offer.
Choosing to Accept a Settlement
Defendants and plaintiffs both have incentives not to go to trial. Avoiding a trial means that insurance companies can avoid going on the public record for their liability and for the amount of money paid in the settlement. Additionally, the settlement paid is usually less than awarded by a court verdict.
For plaintiffs, not going to trial helps recover compensation sooner and it avoids the stresses, time commitment, and costs required to pursue a trial. However, it also means allowing the other party and their insurance provider to avoid publicly acknowledging fault for the accident. For many, this can feel as if the defendant is getting let off the hook for their negligence.
When Not to go to Trial
Some cases should not go to trial. These include instances where the plaintiff is clearly at fault for the accident. For instance, if a drunk driver crashed their car into a business and then attempted to sue the property owner for not installing barriers. Similarly, cases, where there is insufficient evidence to prove the defendant’s liability, such as the inability to prove landlord negligence, or cases where the plaintiff violated contractual obligations and thus negated insurance coverage, and cases where the statute of limitations has expired, may not be winnable in court.