In Tampa, what differentiates a trial from a settlement?
If a person settles the case, there is a lot less cost, he or she does not have to pay as many witnesses, he or she does not have to pay for as many depositions, and he or she does not have to pay for a court reporter at the trial and things like that.
If the person settles the case, then he or she usually can get a larger net sum because less costs come out in that settlement. If a person has to go to trial sometimes he or she can get a bigger number if he or she does a good job with the jury but a jury is really unpredictable. So he or she may end up go into trial, trying the case and winning but not winning as much money as he or she thought and now that person has all these costs and fees that come out of that settlement so his or her net might not be as much. So really it is more of a risk when a person goes to trial but in the settlement he or she is guaranteeing this is how much he or she is walking away with now and he or she does not have to take any more risk and he or she does not have to put any more time into this case, it is over.
Additionally, expert witnesses are paid, such as doctors or a dog training experts, that are going to put on the stand to share their expertise with the jury. Eyewitnesses receive witness mileage, they have to be reimbursed for the mileage that they had to pay to come to court. These are additional costs to be taken into account when considering whether to settle or not.
Choosing to Settle
An individual may choose to settle rather than go to court because it is more than a guarantee. A person takes away the risk if he or she settles the case.
If a person is not happy with the offers that are given and he or she wants to take the risk and try to go for a bigger number, then that might be why he or she takes the case to trial as oppose to settle it.
Proceeding to Court
Whether or not a person will have to take the case trial often depends on the other sides offer. If it is going to be reasonable, then there is less of a likelihood that it will proceed to trial.
If the injured individual is able to put the owner on notice that their dog causes injury, provides them with the medical records, reports all medical bills, and are offered a settlement that is satisfactory or reasonable on the negligent party’s part, the injured individual can accept the offer and the case goes away without him or her ever going to the court.
If the dog owner says they will not pay, can not pay, or offers too little, then the injured party has to file a lawsuit and prove his or her case in front of a jury.