What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
Every year, thousands of vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and other personal injuries occur in the United States. In case you have been hurt in such personal injury accidents, you may want to file a personal injury claim.
It is important to consider three factors before making your decision. First, was there negligence or recklessness on the part of someone else that caused or contributed to the injury? Secondly, did your injuries cause substantial losses (e.g., extensive property damage, moderate to severe injuries, pain and suffering, etc.)? Finally, is there an individual or entity that can pay for your losses?
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney can help you build the most robust case possible to cover your medical expenses, lost income, repairs to your property, and other losses. If your injury occurred in Kentucky, call John H. Ruby & Associates today at (502) 895-2626 for a free consultation and case assessment.
Settlement vs. Trial
According to statistics by the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice, around five percent of personal injury cases go to trial. The majority, 95 percent, are settled pretrial. For cases that go to trial and the plaintiff wins, a trial judge or jury will potentially award significantly more compensation than they might get if the case is settled. On the other hand, trials can be unpredictable, and the plaintiff could end up losing the case and not getting anything.
The above statistics may surprise you, and you may even question whether a lawsuit is a good idea. A leading factor for so many pre-trial settlements is the fact that a trial can extend over the duration of several months or even years. In the meantime, personal injury victims may face job losses and dire financial consequences as a result of all the bills they need to pay.
Resources (or lack thereof) are another factor that leads to delay, both for settlement and pre-trial purposes. Personal injury lawsuits require extensive investigations and the gathering of evidence such as police reports, eyewitness statements, medical reports, and potentially the testimony of expert witnesses. This can take a significant amount of time to put together.
In cases where victims require a settlement as soon as possible due to mounting debt, it is crucial they work with an attorney they can trust to counsel them properly. It is generally never a good idea to deal with the insurance company on your own when you are in this position, because they will be able to sense your vulnerability and consequently give you a lowball settlement offer. If you retain legal counsel, your attorney will negotiate directly with the insurance company on your behalf, and they will put their experience to work to get you the best settlement possible based on the circumstances of your case.
Reasons for Avoiding a Trial or Going to Trial
A typical personal injury case may or may not go to trial under the following circumstances:
Reasons for a Case Going to Trial
- If the defendant or their insurer believes the compensatory damages your personal injury attorney has asked for is excessive and they can win this case.
- If the defendant offers low damages, and you stand a chance of winning a much higher damage award, you may decide to take the case to trial.
- The insurance provider may not want to set a precedent for settling cases such as yours and might choose to go to trial.
- In some limited cases, the plaintiff may want to hold the defendant responsible for their negligence for the greater good, and the case may go to trial irrespective of how lucrative the settlement offer was.
Reasons a Case Being Settled
- If the defendant feels the settling the case sis more economically viable than a prolonged court trial, they may choose to settle.
- If the defendant feels that the compensation you are likely to win if the matter goes to trial is significantly more than what you are asking for, they might choose to settle.
- If the defendant believes going to trial may lead to negative publicity for the organization or their brand, and they believe that the compensation you are seeking is fair, they might decide to settle.
- If the plaintiff and their attorney believe that the defendant’s final settlement offer is fair and that they are not likely to do much better at trial, they will probably take the settlement.
What Aspects Influence a Settlement Offer or a Decision to Reject an Offer and Go to Trial?
- The extent of injuries sustained.
- Medical bills.
- Future medical costs.
- Client’s age and family circumstances.
- Client’s income and earning capacity.
- How sympathetic the client will be to a jury or judge.
- Jurisdiction, precedence, and community norms.
- Lost income, property damage, or other damages.
Personal injury trial lawyers who have negotiated countless settlements and litigated many cases should be able to assess the total damages and calculate a ballpark estimate of what the case is likely worth. Every case is unique. For a lawyer to give you a reasonable estimate of what your case is worth, they really need to understand all of the details.
Consult an Experienced Louisville, KY Personal Injury Attorney
If you sustained injuries in an accident, you should not have to suffer in silence. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can substantially enhance your chances of recovering full and fair compensation for your injuries, and if the accident occurred in Kentucky, John H. Ruby & Associates is ready to go to work for you. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, message us online or call today at (502) 895-2626.