Will I Have to Go to Court?
In every personal injury and wrongful death case, your primary goal is to secure a timely settlement. This is accomplished through informal talks and formal discussions that are commonly called "mediation" sessions. At a mediation session, lawyers and both parties are present at the conference table. The lawyers will speak for their clients, presenting each side of the case. The mediator that is present to steer the course of the session will ask questions of the parties themselves and after this session is over, ask questions of each side individually.
Each case is prepared as if it was going to trial so every case has the possibility of doing so. If attorneys present strong enough cases at mediation, the case may settle prior to trial. However, settlement is not always an option. Attorneys always must be ready to go into the courtroom, even if the case never makes it that far. If a settlement is not able to be reached in mediation, then the case will proceed to trial where the case will be decided by a jury.
Whether it's by verdict or settlement, the job of the lawyer is to gain substantial recoveries for their clients. If you're worried about going to court, don't be. Many cases settle before they even reach a jury. Even if this is not the case and your case does have to go to court, it is important to work with lawyers who have successful personal injury cases on their records. Making sure you have as much information and evidence as possible on your side as well as a good attorney is the most you can do in determining whether or not your case goes to court.