At the final pretrial conference (also called a settlement conference), all parties meet with the Court prior to trial for the purpose of effecting an amicable settlement or, if a settlement is not achieved, to narrow the legal issues for trial and set a date for trial to begin.

Settlement Conference

First and foremost, the purpose of the final meeting before trial is for the Court to assist the parties in settling the case without proceeding to trial. Generally, the parties and their attorneys must be present or available by phone throughout the settlement conference.

Settlement conferences may be conducted according to the preference of the Court. This means that settlement conferences may vary in time and structure. During the course of the conference, the Court will attempt to facilitate a voluntary agreement, so that a trial is unnecessary.

Final Pretrial Conference

Though they are practically the same meeting, a settlement conference effectively becomes a final pretrial conference if the parties cannot reach settlement terms. When this occurs, the Court will use the meeting as an opportunity to discuss, among other things, the outstanding disputed issues, stipulations, technical and logistical needs at trial, expected witnesses, expected pre-trial motions, and predicted length of time needed for trial.

Trials take time and effort from all sides, including the Court, which uses the final pretrial conference to plan for the necessities of a trial. By the time of your final pretrial conference, your attorney will also have begun preparing for your upcoming trial.

Why Would You Want To Settle A Case Before Trial?

At Paulozzi LPA Injury Lawyers we are always ready, willing, and able to take your case to trial. But we know that there are various advantages as well as disadvantages to settling a personal injury case. It is important to understand that most personal injury claims are settled out of court and well before a trial takes place. In fact, most settlements occur before a lawsuit is even filed. Some of the reasons why a settlement may be beneficial include the following:

  • Litigation is expensive. Most personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the victim will not pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs while their case is ongoing. They will only pay legal fees after their attorney has successfully resolved their case. A case it goes all the way to trial without a settlement is going to cost more in case expenses.
  • Trials are stressful. The longer it takes for a personal injury claim to be resolved, the more hearings, depositions, and other procedures there are to participate in. A jury trial can result in public scrutiny and an examination of a person’s private life. Settlements negotiated in a conference are typically private and resolve the matter out of the public eye.
  • Liability and damages are unpredictable at a trial. There is always a chance that taking a case to trial will result in an injury victim receiving more compensation than they would have otherwise received in a settlement. However, the flip side of that is that there is no guarantee that you will receive any compensation at all in a trial. Juries are unpredictable. A pre-conference settlement can take away this unpredictability.
  • Trials and appeals can take years. Often, a personal injury trial will not happen for at least a year or more after the incident actually occurred. Even after one party wins at a trial, the other party can file an appeal and prolong the outcome even longer. A settlement will take away the ability of the other party to appeal.

Contact An Attorney For Help With Your Case

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by another individual, company, or business, contact the team at Paulozzi LPA Injury Lawyers for help with your case today. Our Ohio personal injury lawyers can help you determine the best path for your particular situation. This may involve settling out of court, or this may involve going to trial. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 888-710-0040.

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