FAQ Do I Have To Go To Court?

Do I Have To Go To Court?

Questions and Answers related to Do I Have To Go To Court?

Do I have to go to court?
In the great majority of our cases, no lawsuit is filed at a court. Of those cases that are filed, up to 99 percent are resolved before trial. Statistically there's a very small chance you'll ever go to court. The insurance companies know all about our law firm and successful track record at trial. After 35 years they know they need to fairly settle our case or we will take them to trial - something they want to avoid.
I'm worried about other people finding out about my case.
Don't be. Everything that a client tells one of the lawyers or our staff members is confidential. Usually, only our firm and the insurance company know of the claim. Yes, lawsuits are public record, but most cases are not filed in court. For those that are, unless the client has some notoriety, it is highly unlikely it will attract any attention from among the thousands of other cases filed in Court.
Are there any alternatives to going to court?
Yes-Settlement, Arbitration and Mediation.
If you choose to go the settlement route, there's a great chance you will settle successfully. Many of these cases are never filed in court. In settlement we work directly with the insurance company for the responsible party. Insurance companies aren't stupid - they have a book on each law firm. They know which firms will settle for short money and which firms are afraid to go to trial. Since we have worked with these companies for so many years, they are well aware of our reputation for skilled and thorough representation, the quality of our work and our long history record of successful verdicts at trial. This often positions us at the outset to achieve a positive outcome for our client without ever having to file a lawsuit. In those cases where a lawsuit is filed, we continue to work closely with the insurance company until it is convinced that settlement of our client's claim is the best option for all concerned.
In Arbitration, which is binding, the two sides select a so-called neutral, usually a retired judge or experienced attorney, to make the best decision. You can go to arbitration for personal injury claims if:
1. You're making a claim on an auto insurance policy under uninsured or under-insured motorist coverages; or if
2. The two sides agree to binding arbitration.
Arbitration is both flexible and low-key. When a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached and our clients agree to bypass court, we often submit their cases to arbitration instead of court. At arbitration they meet in a conference room with an arbitrator and the parties from both sides. There's no judge, no court officer, no stenographer and no audience watching. It's very private. In some arbitrations, you can agree to a "high-low" award at the outset, with a guaranteed lowest and guaranteed highest award. Win or lose, the high-low option guarantees a substantial money award.
Mediation, which is non-binding, is an option that may be taken when the parties don't want to give up their power to negotiate. It doesn't matter if a lawsuit has been filed. An experienced neutral is selected, usually a retired judge or lawyer. In a classic mediation the two sides meet in a conference room and each side has anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to present a summary of its case. The mediator then separates the two sides and shuttles between the parties to hear more information or offer suggestions. The mediator will hold all communications from each separated party in strict confidence, while trying to bring the two sides closer together. In most instances, the mediator will successfully close the gap that separates the two parties, achieving a settlement acceptable to both. Again, there is no judge, no court officer, no stenographer and no audience watching. It's very private.
Our results in settlement, arbitration and mediation have ranged from $10,000 to $7.5 million.

Areas of Law Practice

We specialize in all areas of Massachusetts personal injury law, fighting for your rights to get the compensation you deserve, whether you have been in a car accident or have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

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