WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF AN INJURY CASE GOING TO TRIAL?Last updated on: October 17, 2022
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES GO TO TRIAL?
Every case is unique, and while the majority of cases will not go to trial, there will be some situations where the parties are unable to come to an agreement and a trial is necessary. However, that number is extremely low, especially for civil lawsuits.
Only around three percent of civil cases go to trial.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE GOES TO TRIAL?
At trial, a jury will evaluate your testimony along with the defendant’s testimony and the testimony of any witnesses.
The jury will also consider the financial and emotional losses you suffered to calculate a fair amount of compensation.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SETTLEMENT AND TRIAL
Prior to going to trial, both parties will usually negotiate and attempt to come to a settlement agreement.
A trial can be expensive, risky, and take time. It can be a long process that parties may not want to pursue if there is an alternative. However, in some cases, a trial may be unavoidable.
TRIAL RESULTS CAN BE UNPREDICTABLE
In some personal injury cases, both parties know who caused the accident and the facts are mostly agreed upon and straightforward. In these cases, the defendant may recognize that they are responsible for your injuries and it does not make sense to go through the time and expenses of a trial when both parties can agree on a settlement.
However, if your case feels more uncertain, going to trial can be a risk, because you may not recover any compensation. In these situations, a settlement can also be beneficial and minimize the risk of going to court.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
A case may not go to trial for several reasons, but it usually occurs because the parties have negotiated and recognize that an agreement may be beneficial to both parties. One way the parties can reach such an agreement is through alternative dispute resolution.
In alternative dispute resolutions, the parties meet with a neutral third party to reach an agreement outside of the court.
Usually, alternative dispute resolution is a non-binding way for parties to find a solution they both can live with. However, there are also forms of binding dispute resolution.
REASONS YOUR CASE MAY SETTLE BEFORE TRIAL
The longer a lawsuit goes on, the more expensive it becomes. In many cases, both parties will be able to save money if they agree to a settlement. This helps avoid attorney fees and court costs, which are usually more expensive if a case goes to trial.
It takes time to investigate the case, file with the court, exchange information, attempt to come to a settlement, prepare for the trial, and actually hold the trial. If a party is unhappy with the result of the trial, they may sometimes be able to appeal the case and the process begins all over. Because of this long time period, in many cases, the parties would rather save time and come to an agreement.
When a settlement is fair, it may make more sense to accept the offer if it is similar to the compensation you could earn by going to trial. When both parties recognize that they can save time and money if an agreement is reached, this can help negotiations and may encourage a defendant to offer a fair settlement amount and avoid court.
WHY YOUR CASE MIGHT GO TO TRIAL
Before cases go to trial, the parties usually attempt to negotiate and settle several times but are unable to reach an agreement. In some cases, an insurance company may offer a low settlement or no settlement offer at all. Insurance companies operate to pay as little as possible, and when that operational model harms victims, it may be necessary to go to trial to get the compensation they deserve.
In other cases, insurance companies may be afraid of setting a settlement precedent. For example, if you are injured in a work accident and offered $50,000 by your employer and their insurance company, they may be afraid that if other employees are injured and know how much their employer is willing to pay, the employee may demand the same amount.
A victim might not want to accept a settlement as a matter of principle. The victim might want to instead have the defendant officially and legally accept fault for the accident by going to trial.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A PERSONAL INJURY CASE TO SETTLE?
It can take twenty-three to thirty-one months for a case to settle, depending on the type of case and its complexity. An attorney can help speed the process along, since attorneys already have knowledge of the law and do not have to spend time researching basic procedural and substantive matters.
WHAT IS A REASONABLE SETTLEMENT OFFER?
A settlement amount that is reasonable varies case by case and person by person. There are many factors involved in your decision to accept or decline any given settlement offer.
The severity of your injuries will have to be weighed and considered with the cost of treatment and future medical expenses. Some accidents cause minor injuries, but others may leave victims paralyzed and require extensive surgeries, rehabilitation, and significant life changes for victims and their loved ones.
If a settlement offer includes the cost of your hospital bills, rehabilitation bills, and related medical expenses, it might make sense to accept the offer. However, in cases where you are still recovering from your injuries and may not even know the full extent of future medical expenses, it may be more difficult to come to a settlement amount.
Victims may be compensated for the time taken off work to recover from their injuries. A fair settlement offer may include the amount of money that a victim would have been paid if they weren’t injured and able to work during the time they were recovering from their injury.
When victims are seriously injured and unable to work or be employed in their former positions, it can cause a huge financial strain on their expected earnings. However, the potential earnings that an individual would have made throughout their career can be calculated and provide parties with a close estimate of what a victim would have earned, and a fair settlement offer includes that amount.
Because cases that go to trial take longer, victims will have to continue to relive their accident and explain what happened. For some, this can be traumatic and distressing. Additionally, when trials take months or years to conclude, victims may need to wait longer to feel a sense of closure. The emotional toll that a trial may take on victims can be factored into the settlement.
If you decide to reject a settlement offer and go to trial, your case will end up before a judge and/or jury. Ultimately, these will be the people deciding if you will receive compensation, and if so, the amount you deserve.
Your specific case and the facts surrounding it can sway the jury in some cases to award more or less money. Each case is unique, and a trial lawyer may be able to help you decide how your case will look to the jury.
NEED HELP? CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP
Personal injury law can be complicated and uncertain, but Zinda Law Group’s No-Win, No-Fee Guarantee means you don’t have to risk anything: you will pay nothing unless Zinda Law Group secures you a favorable verdict in your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.