Not every slip and fall case goes to court. In fact, most don’t. For some clients this can be a source of relief – the idea of sitting in a courtroom can be a scary prospect. For others, not going to court can be frustrating, after all if you were injured you may want to hold someone responsible. Fortunately settlements mean that you can hold people accountable and get the compensation you deserve without going to court.
What Factors Determine Whether a Slip or Fall Case Goes to Court?
There are many different reasons why your slip and fall case may or may not go to court, including:
1) The defendant’s insurance policy
In many cases it can come down to the defendants policy. If your case is against a major national chain then they might choose to simply pay-out rather than fight it in court. If your claim is against a small local business then it might make more sense for them to take your claim to court.
2) Public perception
Whoever said any publicity is good publicity has obviously never been sued. Many large businesses don’t want their name in the papers. They’d rather eat the cost of settling outside the courtroom than go through a protracted public lawsuit – even if their odds of winning are strong.
3) The liable party
It takes two to tango. Even if you and your lawyer want to cut a deal you still need the other side to agree. In some cases they may be confident enough (or stubborn enough) to refuse to come to any agreement outside of the courtroom. Walmart was notorious for refusing to settle no matter what. They’d rather lose in the courtroom than make a deal. Today Walmart is a bit more reasonable but that tough reputation means that they have a strong negotiating position.
4) The judge
If a particular judge has an unfavourable record against slip and fall cases than your lawyer might advise against going to court. This is also why it’s a good idea to retain an experienced lawyer – they know not only the law, but also have experience dealing with particular judges, lawyers and organizations.
5) Your case
Every case is different. If your slip and fall was caught on tape, your injuries were clear and the defendant had a history of acting negligently, then you probably have a pretty good case. But if the evidence is weaker then it might be better to take a settlement.
6) You and your lawyer
An experienced lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to court can actually make settling a better option. The defendant won’t want to face the other party in the courtroom, and might instead agree to a more generous settlement. At the same time, the decision of whether or not to go to court is one that you should make with your lawyer, based on their advice. If you decide that you want to take the case all the way, then let your lawyer know.
Whether or not your case goes to court you need the best legal representation that you can find. Call Zayouna Law today to be put in touch with an experienced slip and fall lawyer.