When most people think of a lawsuit, especially a medical malpractice lawsuit, they may believe it ends in a courtroom at trial with dueling experts, arguing lawyers, and victims bringing sob stories to a jury, which the jury comes back and gives a verdict to the shock of one of the parties. The crowd watching the trials gasps or exclaims to the verdict, and a judge bangs the gavel and that is it.
Well, that is how the TV shows and movies depict a lawsuit.
This is not actually how many cases end. In fact, more than 90% of all lawsuits settle prior to trial. That means 90% of all cases never get in front of a jury or in a courtroom to be tried. No experts. No testimony to a jury. And even when there is, most courtrooms do not even have a crowd! Most times the trials are just the parties in the courtroom.
But don’t we have a jury of our peers? Isn’t that in the constitution?
Well, yes and no.
However, that really does not matter. In a settlement, you have control. The parties have absolute control over what will happen. If you go to a trial, the jury has control or the judge has control—depending whether it is a jury trial or a bench trial (judge trial). This can be somewhat troubling, as the saying are true—a jury can be very random and unpredictable. Even when it appears a jury is liking your case, they can still turn on a dime on you. Some juries can even award you $10,000 for an injury that is really work a million dollars, and the jury could think they are doing you a huge favor.
When it comes to a bench trial, the judge will look analytically at the law and the facts. This mean everything well be calculated and formal. But this also means there will be very little sympathy given which some jurors may help decide your case on that factor. Whereas a judge will not be persuaded by factors such as that.
This is why settlements are so great. The risk is lower, the cost is lower, and you can know all of the terms and make an educated decision with your lawyer.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.