Will my case go to court?
- July 26, 2016
If you’re involved in a law suit, you generally assume you’re going to spend some time in a court room. After all, every television show and movie you’ve ever seen has shown you that cases immediately go from a lawyer’s desk directly to the judge, usually within moments. In the real world, though, things are a lot more complex. Whether or not your case ever goes to court will depend on a number of factors, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll pass the rather high hurdles that separates an injury claim from a case that actually sees in the inside of the court room.
You’ll start with your Los Angeles personal injury attorney. While you might be injured, your injury might not actually be a cause for action. Your attorney will advise you as to whether you have a valid claim – if you don’t, you’re not going to go to court. While you might have heard stories about injury cases that were patently absurd, the truth is that only cases that have some remote chance of winning will actually see the court room. Many injury claims die before an attorney ever takes the case, so there’s a countless number of potential claims out there that never make it to court.
Next, you’ll go through the settlement process. In theory, settling is always better than going to court and most attorneys will actively seek a settlement. A good settlement will put money in your pocket, save you time, and save you the expenses of going to court. If your case has any sort of merit, there’s decent odds that the other party will want to settle with you. As such, a clear-cut winner will almost never go before a judge. More cases settle than are actively seen in court, so there’s a good chance things will go this route. Even after you think the case should go to court, you might still get offers of settlement from the other side. In most cases, a lawyer who knows that the legal road ahead will be bumpy will attempt to best serve his or her client by reaching a reasonable settlement.
Finally, you’ll almost certainly deal with a motion for dismissal. In this case, the defending party will essentially tell the judge that you have no legitimate case to bring and present a written argument to that effect. If you’ve made it past your attorney and past a settlement, the odds are against a motion for dismissal. With that said, some injury cases do die at this stage, so your still may never enter a courtroom.
It’s harder than you think for a personal injury case to go to court. You’ll be put on the docket, but there’s still plenty of chances for your case to get pushed back. Between scheduling conflicts, issues with discovery and either side dragging its feet, there are still chances for settlement even after your case was supposed to begin. It’s hard to call making it to the courtroom a best case scenario, but it’s more realistic to think of it as a single possibility out of many.
Will your case go to court? It’s almost impossible to tell. If your case has merit, it will certainly move forward. It may be settled, you may choose to drop it, or it might actually go before a judge. What’s more important is that you prepare yourself for the reality of litigation and have the right mindset. What you’re looking for is not always going to be your day in court – rather, you should be looking towards a solution to your problem that will help make you whole once again.