Litigation Attorneys in Asheville
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of a courtroom. But some cases do require going to trial. Furthermore, even getting a fair settlement without a trial might hinge on the defendant knowing that you are willing to take them to court and that you have a litigation attorney who can win at trial.
An Asheville litigation lawyer from Hensley Cloninger & Greer can advise you on the path most likely to get you a fair and appropriate personal injury settlement.
Mediation, Arbitration, & Litigation
When settlement negotiation begins, it can end via several different methods. The most direct option would simply be for the defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company) to get to a fair number that the plaintiff can accept. Suffice it to say, insurance companies often need more than a nudge or two to get them to that fair figure.
If negotiations are at an impasse, mediation might be chosen as an alternative. This is where a third party is brought in, not to settle the dispute, but to open up lines of communication. It’s not uncommon for a “fresh set of eyes,” especially eyes that have seen a lot of personal injury disputes, to see workable solutions that others who are entrenched in the legal fight might miss. Mediation can be attractive in that it is collaborative in nature, with both sides holding veto power over any proposed settlement.
Arbitration is one step up from mediation. The plaintiff and the defendant retain some level of control in that they must agree on who the arbitrator will be. But at that point, an arbitration hearing becomes similar to a courtroom in that the arbitrator has final authority to make a decision that is legally binding on both parties. Arbitration is typically less expensive than going to court, but it is still confrontational in nature and final in its results.
The final option is going to court with litigation. The judge or jury will make the final decision and, of course, that decision will have the full force of law. Litigation is time-consuming, but if you’re not getting a fair settlement offer, it can be worth it. That’s a decision your litigation attorney must advise you on.
Making the Tough Decisions
Experience matters when it's time to decide whether to go to trial. An experienced litigation lawyer will have a detailed understanding of how your current settlement offer stands up against other cases that are similar to yours. A litigation attorney will have a deeper understanding of what your chances are of bettering that settlement in court, and by how much.
No attorney can ever make guarantees on courtroom outcomes, but the more of those outcomes that one has seen, the better the chances of making an accurate assessment.
Hensley Cloninger & Greer has over 30 years of experience fighting for the people of Asheville. We only take clients to litigation when it is necessary and has a probability of success. At the same time, we never back down from a legal fight. We’re proud of the fact that our successes in personal injury cases include both negotiated settlements and courtroom victories. We do what’s best for the client in every situation, and our track record backs that up.