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Why Waive My Right to a Jury Trial?

Why Waive My Right to a Jury Trial?

Ask any skilled personal injury attorney and they’ll readily admit that upwards of 90% of their clients enter into negotiated settlements. Meaning, the vast majority of their cases are not resolved through a jury trial but through a settlement – a lot of people don’t know that.

“Why don’t more personal injury cases go to trial?” For one, it’s impossible to predict a jury. Even if you’re 100% convinced that you’re right and the defendant is at-fault, you’re still rolling the dice and this isn’t Vegas. Instead, we’re betting on your health and future.

Personal injury lawyers and insurance companies alike have learned not to trust juries. They know they’re often fickle and arbitrary and in many cases, they come to the courtroom with biases that all personal injury attorneys are “ambulance chasers” and the people who file them are being frivolous.

Benefits of Staying Out of Court

There are many benefits of staying out of court, for both sides. For the defendant (at-fault party), the settlement can remain private and out of the public’s view. Since juries are unpredictable, the defendant can feel like they have some control over the outcome. What about the plaintiff (injured party), what are the advantages of settling?

  • The plaintiff gets paid much faster.
  • The plaintiff also exerts control over the negotiation process. If the defendant goes to trial, there’s always the risk of getting nothing.
  • Settling greatly reduces legal fees, which means more money in the plaintiff’s pocket.

In the vast majority of personal injury cases, we believe non-jury trials are better for our clients. Of course, if a client does not want to waive a jury trial, we respect their decision. That being said, there are times and situations where we recommend a jury trial.

For instance, if the defendant’s insurance company is being unreasonable and denying a perfectly valid claim, or if the insurance company is sticking to a low-ball settlement that’s far below what the case is worth, then a jury trial may be in the client’s best interests.

Related: Can I Avoid a Personal Injury Trial?

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