When you are involved in civil litigation with an insurance provider, your case will be decided by a judge, a jury, or through a settlement out of court. Settling is the preferable option for all parties involved, but you might be surprised to find out that you may have a better chance of winning against an insurance provider if you have a bench trial.
How the Bench Trial Works
A bench trial is different from a jury trial in that a judge makes the ultimate decision regarding whether you will win your case and will also determine how much you will be compensated. If you are concerned about how the judge might rule, you have the right to a jury trial. However, this is often not a good idea.
How a Jury Trial Works
With a jury trial, you will be judged by a jury of your peers. The jury will ultimately decide whether the defendant will be required to compensate you. However, a jury trial can often backfire in a case involving an insurance provider. For example, in an auto accident case, the other driver will be in the courtroom and the jury may feel sympathetic toward the driver. Oftentimes, the jury doesn't realize that the damages you suffer will be paid for by the insurance provider and not the driver. This may lead to the jury offering you a lower judgment.
If you do find yourself in a jury trial, you'll want to seek help from a civil litigation attorney. These types of cases can take a very long time to be resolved when compared to a bench trial. In fact, insurance providers will sometimes choose a jury trial because they think that the long, arduous, and expensive process will make it more likely that you will settle.
Why Most Cases are Settled
The vast majority of cases are settled out of court. With a great attorney, you may be able to reach a settlement that you may consider to be worthwhile. However, you and your lawyer might choose to go to trial because you were lowballed by an insurance adjuster.
In most cases, if you hire an attorney, the insurance adjuster will be more willing to cooperate because they will know that you understand your rights. However, some insurance adjusters want to make a name for themselves and will refuse to settle. Whether or not you go to trial will ultimately be up to you. Contact a civil law attorney near you to learn more.