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How Lawyers Determine When a Personal Injury Case Should Go to Court

Personal injury cases are often complex legal matters that can arise from various incidents, such as car accidents, slip and falls, or workplace injuries. While many personal injury cases are settled outside of court through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods, there are instances where taking the case to trial becomes necessary. Determining when to go to trial is a crucial decision for lawyers and their clients, and according to the professionals at Boland Romaine, it involves a careful assessment of various factors.

Initial Case Assessment

The first step in determining whether a personal injury case should go to trial is the initial assessment of the case. Lawyers carefully evaluate the facts, evidence, and circumstances surrounding the incident to gauge the strength of the case. They consider factors such as liability, causation, and damages to determine if there is a solid foundation for a successful lawsuit. If the evidence is clear and compelling, the likelihood of settling the case favorably may be high without the need for a trial.

Negotiation Attempts and Settlement Offers

Before heading to trial, lawyers typically engage in negotiation attempts with the opposing party or their insurance company. This process often involves presenting a demand letter outlining the client’s injuries, damages, and the legal basis for the claim. If the opposing party responds with a reasonable settlement offer, lawyers may advise their clients to accept it, avoiding the time and expense of a trial. However, if the negotiations break down or the settlement offer is insufficient, lawyers may consider taking the case to trial to seek fair compensation through the court system.

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Insurance Company Tactics

In some cases, insurance companies may employ delay tactics, deny liability, or offer unreasonably low settlement amounts. Lawyers are experienced in recognizing when an insurance company is not negotiating in good faith. If it becomes apparent that the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement, the lawyer may advise their client to proceed to trial to ensure the client’s rights are fully protected and that they have an opportunity to present their case before a judge or jury.


Legal Precedent and Case Law

Lawyers also consider the legal precedent and case law relevant to their client’s situation. If there are favorable precedents or legal rulings that support the client’s position, the lawyer may be more inclined to take the case to trial, confident that the legal framework is on their side. Conversely, if the legal landscape is unfavorable, lawyers may explore settlement options to avoid potential negative outcomes at trial.

Client’s Goals and Preferences

Understanding the client’s goals and preferences is crucial in deciding whether to go to trial. Some clients may prioritize a quick resolution, while others may be willing to endure a trial to achieve justice or set a precedent. Lawyers must communicate effectively with their clients, explaining the potential risks and benefits of going to trial, and align their strategy with the client’s objectives.


The decision to take a personal injury case to trial involves a multifaceted analysis by lawyers. Factors such as the strength of the case, negotiation outcomes, insurance company tactics, legal precedent, and the client’s goals all play a role in this critical decision-making process. Ultimately, a well-informed and strategic approach is necessary to determine when going to trial is the best course of action to achieve a just and favorable outcome for the client.

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