Everyone wants to know when to go to trial instead of accepting an offer to resolve a case. In criminal cases, the prosecutor often makes a plea offer to resolve the case without a trial. In accident cases, malpractice cases, and other civil lawsuits, a party often makes a settlement offer to avoid the uncertainty of a jury verdict. Many people think that they know when they should go to trial, but only an experienced attorney can advise when going to trial is in your best interest.
If you are wondering whether you should go to trial, your first step should be to seek a consultation with a licensed attorney. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations where you can explain your case and hear what the lawyer thinks. If the first attorney you meet with is not what you are looking for, seek a second opinion from a different attorney. The attorney that you hire will protect your rights, so it is important to choose someone who fits with your personality and goals for your case.
Many cases are settled before trial because going to trial is a risk for both sides. Even attorneys cannot always predict what judges or juries will decide. In criminal cases, the prosecutor wants to obtain a conviction and usually incarceration or a fine. The accused wants to resolve the case with the least possible consequences. A plea offer is a way to meet in the middle. The prosecutor can get some of what he or she wants and the defendant can usually resolve the case with lesser consequences than if he or she went to trial and lost. In civil cases, trials can be very expensive and jury verdicts are unpredictable. Settlements avoid what could be high payouts from defendants or low monetary awards from juries and also may help to minimize insurance costs.
Contact an attorney today to discuss what is in your best interest. Seek a second opinion if you are unsure. Whether you ultimately go to trial or not, you will feel confident that you are making an informed decision about the risk that you are taking.