What is Negligence Per Se vs. Negligence?

If you have a personal injury claim in New York, your case is probably based on either negligence or negligence per se. You’re probably more familiar with the term “negligence,” but both legal theories are important because they are the foundation for holding a party financially responsible for damages that their acts caused to another party. The key difference is whether the party is presumed negligent, or the injured victim needs to prove negligence. Read on to learn the detailed differences between negligence and negligence per se and why it’s important for your personal injury case. 

What is Negligence?

Negligence occurs when an individual or entity fails to act with reasonable care. The reasonable care refers to the type of care that a “reasonable person” would have used if they were in that position.

What is considered reasonable changes depending on the specific situation. If the defendant’s conduct doesn’t meet this reasonable person standard, then a jury may find that the defendant was indeed negligent.  

Elements of Negligence

There are generally four elements of negligence:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of that duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

The reasonableness standard applies to the requirement of breach of duty. If the defendant didn’t use reasonable care, then they have breached the duty of care that they owed to the other party. In general, everyone owes everyone else a general duty of care to avoid behavior that brings a risk of harm or death. However, in a personal injury lawsuit, the duty may be more specific, such as a duty to all drivers and pedestrians when you’re a driver on the road.  

In order to show negligence, you might need an expert witness to testify as to what a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have done. And even if the person would’ve acted in an unreasonable way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the party is liable for damages. The plaintiff still has to prove that the defendant’s negligent behavior was both the direct cause and the proximate cause of their injuries. And that their injuries resulted in damages. 

What is Negligence Per Se?

In contrast to regular negligence, negligence per se is when the defendant’s acts are presumed to be negligent because they broke a law or violated a specific statute. The law or regulation must protect the public interest, and the plaintiff must have suffered the type of injury that the law is intended to prevent or stop; also, the plaintiff must be a member of the group that the law is intended to protect. The rationale for this is that violating these laws increase the risk of injury or death to the public.  

Examples of Negligence Per Se

Some examples include:

  • Building codes
  • Criminal statutes prohibiting assault, murder, or other intentional acts
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speed limits

Burden Shift

There’s a shift of the burden of proof here. Typically, the plaintiff has the burden to prove their case. However, in negligence per se, the pendulum swings towards the defendant. The plaintiff doesn’t need to show that the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care, rather this is presumed because the defendant violated one of the laws that was intended to protect public safety.

But the injured party must still show causation; in other words, that the defendant’s conduct was the direct and proximate cause of the injury, which resulted in related damages. If the plaintiff can’t show the causal relationship to their injury or prove damages, they can’t recover financial compensation.  

Talk to a New York Attorney about Your PI Claim

Regardless of whether your claim is based on a theory of negligence or negligence per se, you will benefit from having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Fortunately, you can connect with a skilled MOWK Law personal injury attorney who will assist you with exploring your options. Contact us today.  

What Kind of Tort Damages are Available in New York?

If you’re a victim of a tort, you should know that you may be entitled to different types of damages for the injury that you’ve suffered, depending on the details and facts of your specific case. Read on to learn about torts and the different types of damages that are available in New York.

What is a Tort?

A tort is defined as action or nonaction that gives rise to injury or harm to an individual who can seek recovery through civil court. In other words, the tortfeasor or wrongdoer’s activity or inactivity hurts the victim in a way that is considered a civil violation and the courts can hold the wrongdoer accountable. Tort law covers various types of harm, such as physical injuries, property violations, and deprivations of rights. Some examples of personal injury torts in NY include:

  • Animal attack/dog bites causes of action
  • Emotional distress (intentional infliction)
  • Emotional distress (negligently infliction)
  • Medical malpractice
  • Negligence
  • Premise liability (slip and falls, defective conditions) 
  • Survivorship
  • Wrongful birth
  • Wrongful death 
  • Wrongful life

Although these violations are similar to crimes and there is overlap, torts are their own thing entirely and differ from crimes mostly due to the types of remedies available in tort law.   

Tort Damages in New York

In New York, the victim can try to recover three types of damages:

  • Nominal Damages in New York: These damages are awarded for an intentional act that does not require a showing of a loss or injury; the rationale behind this is that nominal damages are intended to protect the rights of tort victims. For example, an injured plaintiff who proves that the defendant’s act caused their injury but fails to produce medical records to show the extent of the injury. 
  • Compensatory Damages in New York: These damages are intended to make up for any losses the plaintiff suffered due to the injury caused by the action or inaction of the defendant. There are two kinds of compensatory damages, Special Compensatory Damages and General Compensatory Damages. 
  • Special Compensatory Damages: The purpose for special compensatory damages is compensating the plaintiff for the economic losses suffered due to the injury (health care costs, loss of earnings, costs of rehab) that the defendant caused.  
  • General Compensatory Damages: These damages are for the non-economic losses that the plaintiff suffered. This includes mental distress, loss of opportunities, pain and suffering caused by the defendant. 
  • Punitive Damages in New York: Punitive damages are used to show punishment against the wrongdoer. They can be awarded when the action shows “a criminal indifference to civil obligations.” Basically, it’s so bad that the law is used to teach a lesson and to discourage others from following the bad example.  

Talk to a PI Attorney about Available Damages in NY

Becoming familiar with the types of available damages can help you understand what to expect from your personal injury lawsuit. You should contact one of our skilled MOWK Law attorneys who can help you with your specific case. Contact us today for more information.   

Should you Consider a Plea Deal?

Should you Consider a Plea Deal?

Plea deals are an advantage to prosecutors because it saves time, energy, and resources needed to go to trial, but there are also some reasons why a defendant might consider a plea deal. 

Sometimes people think that a defendant should only accept a plea bargain if they are indeed guilty. However, the process is more complicated than that. Although there are times when you want to mount a solid defense, there are times, even if a defendant believes that they didn’t commit the crime that they’re charged with, they may want to consider a deal that’s been offered by the prosecution. 

Reduced Charges

For defendants, facing reduced charges can be viewed as one of the best advantages that comes from accepting a plea deal. This can be especially attractive if the original charge carries significant incarceration and costly fines. Typically, a reduced charge equals a lighter sentence and possibly no jail time. A misdemeanor conviction probably won’t be as detrimental to your career as a felony conviction would. Additionally, a plea deal can also help you avoid controversial charges like DUI or rape. 

An experienced defense attorney might be able to negotiate a deal with the prosecution that lets you lower a felony charge to a misdemeanor or possibly get some charges dropped completely. 

Avoiding a Jury Trial

With the long delays in the criminal justice system, you could be waiting on a case that could go on for months. By accepting a plea deal, you can save time, money, and stress and can avoid the uncertainty of putting your future in the hands of a jury. You could also avoid the publicity of a trial if that’s a concern. Because you could end up with an outcome that is far worse than what a prosecutor offers you, it might be something to consider.  

Additional Reasons

  • Getting out of custody earlier: While some defendants may be able to get out of custody by posting bail, some can’t; getting out of custody earlier could be a reason for pleas. 
  • Avoiding deportation: for noncitizens who want to remain in the country.
  • Saving money on attorney fees: defendants with private attorneys can save on attorneys’ fees with a plea bargain since it requires less time and energy.
  • Keeping more privacy: if you don’t want the attention of a public trial.  

Talk to a Defense Attorney about Plea Bargains

Each case is unique. Act in your best interest and obtain legal insight from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your rights. With this insight, you can better understand your situation and decide the best course of action for you. Contact a MOWK Law attorney today to weigh your options.  

What Makes a Witness Credible in a Car Accident Claim?

Driving on the roads of New York can be dangerous. People get into accidents every day. If it happens to you, you want to be able to be compensated for any injuries that you’ve suffered. Determining fault can add further complexity to the issue. Therefore, reliable eyewitnesses can go a long way in making a big difference in your personal injury claim.

Insurance companies will do whatever it takes to avoid paying costly damages, even attacking the credibility of a witness. Because of this, you will want to be sure that any witness that you have testifying on your behalf is really “credible.”

What Does it Mean to be Credible?

A credible witness is one who presents as competent and worthy of belief. Their testimony is presumed to be truthful due to their knowledge, experience, and their appearance of integrity. 

Why Witness Credibility is so Important

As with any case, establishing a witness’s credibility in your accident claim can be difficult, but discrediting it may not be as challenging. If fault is uncertain, it gives the defense more leeway to try to poke holes in the case. However, it’s very important to show your witnesses’ believability because there’s a direct connection between the credibility of a witness (or the lack of credibility) and the opportunity of your vehicle accident attorney to negotiate a good settlement offer for you. 

What Factors Make a Witness Credible?

Now that’s it’s been shown how relevant the way that your witnesses come across, what are some of the elements that make a witness credible? The following are factors that can help to establish the credibility of a witness:

  • Strong moral character with a lack of criminal history
  • Not a personal relationship with you (not a relative or friend)
  • Mentally and physically healthy
  • Drug and alcohol free at the time of the accident

What Factors Hurt Witness Credibility? 

Just as certain elements can help to create witness credibility, there are factors that have a negative impact. Here are the following factors that hurt a witness’ credibility:

  • Witnesses who didn’t see the entire accident
  • Witnesses who provide inconsistent accounts of the accident
  • Witnesses who are distracted (they are on their cell phone, talking with others)
  • Witnesses who are biased (they are relatives or personal friends)
  • Witnesses who have a financial interest in the case
  • Witnesses who have trouble discussing the accident due to mental health issues, age, or physical condition)

It’s best for your case to have a witness who has clear vantage point of the accident, with no personal or financial ties. A witness who is not credible may do more harm than good in your personal injury lawsuit. Here, your attorney may even advise you to not use them as a witness.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced PI Attorney

Determining a witness’ credibility is just one of the many things that a lawyer will do to help you get the compensation that you deserve. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury attorney at your side. Connect with one of our skillful MOWK Law personal injury attorneys who is ready to talk to you. Contact us today. 

Understanding the Difference Between Worker’s Comp and a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’re an employee who was hurt on the job, you will want to know how you can be compensated for any injuries you suffered. It’s important to know when it’s appropriate to seek a worker’s compensation claim versus a personal injury claim. 

Worker’s Comp Factors and Personal Injury Factors

Although both a New York personal injury lawsuit and a worker’s compensation claim can arise from accidents that happen in the workplace, there are key differences when it comes to liability. Negligence occurs when someone is harmed as a direct result of a party’s carelessness. This is the primary basis of liability in a personal injury claim. 

However, in a worker’s compensation claim, the compensation is intended to cover certain injuries, regardless of who is at fault. Absent an exception, any employee who is injured on the job is entitled to worker’s comp benefits without having to prove fault; you don’t need to show proof that your employer, supervisor, or co-workers did anything wrong in order to receive these benefits. Additionally, even if you were negligent and that was the cause of your injury, you are still entitled to the benefits. 

Recovery in Worker’s Compensation Claims vs. Personal Injury Claims

In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff is trying to recover any losses that came from the accident. The damages may include compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, lost earnings, any future lost earnings, permanent impairment, loss of enjoyment of life (hedonic damages), future health care costs associated with the injury and damages for pain and suffering.

In a worker’s compensation claim, you’re only entitled to receive weekly compensation, permanent impairment benefits, health care bills, and vocational rehabilitation. However, unlike a personal injury lawsuit, you typically cannot get compensation for pain and suffering. 

Requirements for Worker’s Compensation

Generally, these are the requirements for worker’s compensation:

  • You are an employee
  • Your employer carries worker’s comp insurance
  • You suffered a work-related injury or illness
  • You must report your injury/illness and file for a worker’s comp claim within the deadline

Filing a Claim

As an injured worker you usually won’t be able to file for both worker’s compensation claims and a personal injury suit, but you may be able to recover compensation via a third-party lawsuit if your injuries were the result of a safety violation. In this situation, a third-party claim may be against a subcontractor or a property owner; this can assist with supplementing the funds coming in from a worker’s comp claim. Keep in mind that this is important because worker’s compensation only covers a small portion of your wages, generally about 2/3 of your wages. 

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or your someone you know has been injured while on the job, you want to make sure that you get the compensation that you are entitled to receive. Don’t wait for the negligent party or the insurance company to step up. Act in your best interests and speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. Our MOWK Law New York personal injury attorneys have the know-how and dedication to assist you through these difficult times. Contact us today to learn about what you can do to get the compensation that you deserve.

Who Will Pay my Medical Bills for my Bicycle Accident?

There’s nothing like a bike ride. Whether it’s a leisure trip to the park or a commuter ride to work, riding a bike can be both exhilarating and functional. However, all of the good times will go out the window the moment someone hits you with their car. But who pays your medical bills following a New York bicycle accident?

Seek Medical Attention

If you’ve been struck by a car while riding your bike, you should seek medical attention right away. There will likely be obvious injuries like cuts and bruises, but even if they seem minor, you should not hesitate to get to a health care provider immediately. Sometimes serious conditions like internal damage and traumatic brain injuries can manifest later, appearing hours or even days after the impact. Additionally, going to see a physician will be on the record and can be considered a significant initial move towards getting compensation for your bicycle accident injuries. 

New York’s No-Fault Insurance Policies

Like many other states, New York has no-fault laws that compel individuals that are involved in vehicle accidents to file medical claims with their own car insurance companies, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. 

Personal Injury Protection Plans (PIP)

No-fault policies are referred to as “personal injury protection plans” (PIP). These policies are required for drivers to purchase as part of their own insurance plans. The minimum amount of PIP you can purchase in New York is $50,000 per person for health care costs, lost earnings, and other expenses; the amount you purchase is the maximum that you’re entitled to recover with a PIP claim. However, besides filing for PIP coverage for your health care expenses, you also may be entitled to file a claim for pain and suffering damages that will enable you to recover compensation for your injuries that are more than the limits of your PIP medical benefits.

In New York, when a bicycle collision involves a car, bus, or truck, the driver’s auto insurance company is responsible for all PIP claims, including that of the cyclist; it doesn’t matter who was at fault in the accident. PIP claims must be filed with the vehicle driver’s insurance company within 30 days of the accident, or the claim will be denied. 

Uninsured Drivers or Hit and Runs 

If you were the victim of a hit and run or the driver of the vehicle that hit you is uninsured, you need to file your no-fault claim with your own auto insurance company. If you don’t have auto insurance, you could still be eligible for no-fault coverage under the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).

Speak with an Experienced Attorney about your Bicycle Accident

Being involved in any collision can be pretty traumatic, especially when you’ve been hit while biking. Because understanding PIP coverage after your accident might be confusing, you will probably benefit from talking to an experienced attorney about your situation. If you were involved in a bike accident, contact a MOWK personal injury attorney who can inform you about your rights and help you get the proper compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more. 

Understanding Brain Injuries After a Construction Accident

The construction industry is one that’s inherently dangerous. Whenever you work on a construction site, you’re in an environment where you risk serious injury or even death, especially if someone isn’t taking all of the necessary safety precautions. Some of the most dangerous injuries include some sort of injury to the head, which can cause damage to the brain. Not all head injuries are serious, but you must treat all of them as potentially serious until a doctor can evaluate you. 

OSHA Recommendations for Construction Sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established rules and regulations to help prevent head injuries, including hardhat requirements at certain construction sites. One of the requirements concerns head protection in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE). Because head injuries may be the result of actions, such as falls, flying objects, or by bumping the head against a fixed object, protective helmets must do the following:

  • Resist penetration
  • Absorb the shock of a blow
  • Protect against electric shock

Additionally, OSHA enforces many other rules that are designed to protect workers, including providing fall safety equipment and determining how heavy equipment should be used. 

Construction Accidents that can Cause Head Wounds

Even if a construction worker follows OSHA’s guidelines exactly, they can still be vulnerable to brain injury from various sources.  

These accidents can occur at any time at a construction site and can lead to brain injuries, including the following:

  • Dangerous demolitions
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Falls
  • Fallings objects
  • Trench collapses
  • Vehicle collisions

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Anytime you experience a blow to the head, (regardless of how it occurs) it can lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI), a serious medical condition. TBIs include a myriad of injuries, ranging from brain bleeds and open head wounds to concussions. Although you may initially feel fine when you first hurt your head, you should proceed with caution because TBI is very serious and you could eventually develop brain damage or other disabilities, including vision loss, seizures, or speech impediments. You should be sure to seek medical attention and get checked out because the symptoms may develop later. 

The symptoms of a TBI include the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Lack of coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ear and problems hearing

Steps to Take after You’ve Been Injured at the Construction Site

Whether you experience symptoms or not, if you’ve been struck in the head due to a construction accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Call the paramedics, so that they can send personnel to transport you to the hospital, or you can ask a co-worker, family member, or friend to give you a lift to the emergency room. You should never drive after you’ve had a head injury, regardless of how you feel. 

It’s important to make sure that your accident is reported to the supervisor right away. This will not only protect other workers from experiencing injury, but it can also be helpful to you in the future. For instance, you will need this on record if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you’re an independent contractor and your injury was caused by another party’s negligence, then you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. 

Hit your Head at the Worksite? Discuss Options with a Lawyer

Dealing with head injuries like TBIs can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to figure out your legal options. If you believe you were hurt because of an act of negligence, you can explore your legal options by contacting a personal injury attorney. MOWK Law attorneys are skilled in this area and can investigate your claim to see if you can recover damages. Contact us now for further insight. 

Expert Witnesses in New York Personal Injury Cases

In a New York personal injury lawsuit, like any other court case, the attorney must use various means and techniques to prove the case. One way to help bolster a case is the use of expert witnesses. The role of the expert witness is an important one that can add creditability to the case. The law provides for certain qualifications for the expert witness, such as them actively practicing in the profession that is relevant to the case and possessing specialized knowledge through experience, education, or training that a lay person doesn’t have.

What is the Purpose of an Expert Witness?

An expert witness supplies critical testimony of evidence that can show proof of evidence that is presented to the judge or the jury. They validate whether specific evidence is relevant where that evidence might be in doubt. Additionally, expert witnesses can help to explain subject matters and topics that may be difficult for a jury to comprehend. For instance, a scientist can present impartial technical or scientific testimony to the jury to help them arrive at a decision. 

The Difference Between an Expert Witness and a Lay Witness

An expert witness has knowledge about a certain topic; they are an expert. In contrast, a lay witness is any witness who gives testimony, but doesn’t qualify as an expert. Lay witnesses give important testimony, but they can’t testify on subject matters that require specialized knowledge or technical or scientific information that goes beyond what can reasonably assumed as “common knowledge.”  

Examples of the Use of Expert Witnesses

Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated due to a convoluted fact pattern, conflicting evidence, and other variables. The use of an expert witness can help to clear up some confusion and to offer clarification and authority on certain matters. Here are a few examples of how expert witnesses are used in personal injury lawsuits:

  • Vehicle accident cases: Mechanics can provide testimony explaining the causes and effects of motor vehicle accidents and technical automotive details. 
  • Construction accident cases: These experts can testify about what is considered adequate safety procedures and the proper use of safety equipment. 
  • Medical malpractice cases: Medical experts, like physicians can testify regarding standards of care, and can explain and examine medical evidence that can indicate that the plaintiff’s claims are correct.  

If You’ve Been Hurt, Contact a NY Personal Injury Attorney Today

When it comes down to it, using an expert witness is one of many techniques that an experienced personal injury lawyer can use to advance your case. That’s why it’s in your best interests to consider speaking to someone like a skilled MOWK law personal injury attorney who can determine whether expert witnesses are appropriate for your specific circumstances. Contact us to get started.

How Will I Be Compensated for My Motorcycle Accident?

If you’re involved in an auto accident in New York and you were injured, you will file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. This is because New York is a no-fault state for drivers. This is true whether you were injured as a driver, pedestrian, or a bike rider.  However, motorcycles are considered separate vehicles from trucks, cars, and buses, which means that the no-fault laws don’t apply to them. Read on to learn how this distinction can greatly impact the compensation that you can receive after you’ve been in a New York motorcycle accident.

The Differences between Car Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents

For a car accident, the injured person must file an accident claim with their own insurance policy. And in order to receive compensation under that policy, they must meet the “Serious Injury” Threshold. The “Serious Injury” Threshold is met if your accident results in one of the following:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Disfigurement
  • Fetus loss
  • Fractures
  • Medically determined non-permanent impairment or injury that impacts the injured person’s daily activities
  • Permanent loss of the use of body organ, member, function, or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system

In contrast, the motorcyclist is not covered under New York’s No-Fault Laws. Because the no-fault laws don’t apply, it’s important to determine liability in your motorcycle accident to recover damages to pay the costs of any lost earnings, and your health care and any expenses for your long-term treatment.  

Your own insurance policy and the other drivers’ policy both might be relevant regarding your claim and your potential settlement. A significant aspect of many New York motorcycle insurance policies is whether they contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It isn’t automatically a part of many policies, which means the cyclist would be responsible for their own health care costs. However, some of the motorcycle policies have “med-pay,” which at times does provide payment for medical bills. Although cyclists must carry the same minimum liability insurance as motorists, they don’t have to meet the “Serious Injury” Threshold to receive compensation.

However, there are other barriers for motorcycle accident victims. Numerous factors, including unsafe speed, the presence of drugs or alcohol, or reckless lane changes may make it appear to be less likely to recover damages and can make it difficult to prevail. There is a negative perception about motorcycles and about the people that ride them, which is based on the belief that motorcycles are ultrahazardous. Even insurance adjustors might have this view, which can affect a rider’s ability to file a claim. The adjustor might offer you an obscenely low settlement or blame you for your own injuries, even when the other driver is at fault. 

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident and you try to file a personal injury claim on your own, you may have trouble with the adjustor taking you seriously and offering you a decent settlement. That’s why it’s in your best interests to seek out legal help. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you with increasing your settlement offer, so that you can get the compensation that you deserve. The New York personal injury lawyers at MOWK Law understand the complexity of New York insurance policies and respect the difficulties that motorcyclists endure. To learn about your options, contact us today. 

girl with hand on the back of her head stressed

Settlement vs. Trial for Your Dispute

To settle or not to settle? That is the question. But it doesn’t always have an easy answer. Although the majority of personal injury cases settle, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the way to go. Under some circumstances, it might be preferable to go to court. Read on for a discussion about settlement versus trial to help you decide how you want to deal with your dispute. 

Agreeing to a Settlement 

A settlement is an agreement made between the plaintiff and the defendant and the defendant’s insurance company. It takes place out of court and involves back and forth negotiations between the parties. The final outcome is decided by the plaintiff when they decide to agree to the settlement. 

The Advantages of Settlements

  • The process is quicker and more efficient and costs less because you’re not paying for court costs.
  • Settlements tend to be less stressful. 
  • You have more control over the outcome of a settlement because you have the power to accept or refuse an offer and you are certain of the amount that you will receive.
  • Settlements are generally private. If you value your privacy or you don’t want certain facts disclosed, then a settlement is good for this.  

The Disadvantages of Settlements

  • You might receive less money as compensation than you would receive at trial.
  • It might be not be as satisfying as a trial, depending on your feelings of closure and sense of justice. 
  • Once you accept a settlement, you typically can’t do anything further with the case; you can’t renegotiate a better deal in the future, even if your injuries get worse.
  • Settlements are generally private. If you want admissions of wrong doings, it doesn’t happen. 

Going to Trial

A trial involves both sides making their arguments and presenting evidence to a judge and jury. The jury decides the final outcome of the case. 

The Advantages of Going to Trial

  • You could potentially obtain greater compensation from a jury trial than a settlement. 
  • You could receive money for damages such as pain and suffering; these damages aren’t always offered by insurance companies in settlements.
  • You may gain a greater sense of closure and justice during a trial because it proves the defendant’s fault or liability for your damages.  
  • Unlike a settlement, the facts and details of a trial can become public. If there are things that you want the public to know about, a trial can accomplish this goal. 
  • In some cases, you may be able to appeal the decision.

The Disadvantages of Going to Trial

  • A trial can be lengthy and drawn-out.
  • A trial is typically more expensive than a settlement, with fees for court costs, litigation, and hiring experts.
  • Trials are generally more stressful.
  • You can’t control a trial and negotiate a better deal like you can for settlements. 
  • You may not win anything at trial. It’s a risk that you could end up with zero compensation. 

Talk to a Lawyer about Settlements and Trials 

While it is typical for a personal injury claim to settle rather than go to trial, each case is unique; the facts of your case might indicate that going to trial would be beneficial. If you’ve uncertain as to whether your dispute should be resolved through a trial or a settlement, the experienced attorneys at MOWK Law can help you sort through the issues and make an informed decision based on your specific claim. Contact us today to learn more.