The short answer is no– your personal injury case will probably not go to trial. Research conducted by Cornell University Law School found approximately two-thirds of cases result in an out-of-court settlement. When you call a personal injury attorney for a free consultation, the professional you speak with should be able to give you a realistic assessment of your case. This would include the type of compensation you might expect and how it might be resolved.
Find out why most personal injury cases settle. Also, you’ll learn how to choose the right option. Contact us at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C., if you have further questions.
Why Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Typically Settle?
Most personal injury claims settle because:
- Rather than a jury verdict, the payout is guaranteed.
- Trials take longer and cost more in expenses and attorney fees.
- Settling defendants do not have to admit liability in order to resolve the claim.
- An agreement can be sealed, confidential, and kept private.
It is common for personal injury plaintiffs to seek legal representation before accepting the first offer they receive. Initial offers from insurers are notoriously low, hoping the plaintiff will be desperate to end the matter. In spite of their decent offer, it’s wise to seek legal advice before agreeing to anything in a personal injury consultation. The process of settlement typically takes six months to a year. Either party can choose to settle at any time, before– or sometimes during– a trial.
Why Might a Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
A personal liability lawsuit may go to trial if:
- The injuries are particularly severe, resulting in pain and suffering or permanent disability.
- The amount of medical bills, future medical bills, loss of wages, and lost earning capacity is high.
- The two parties cannot agree on the facts to reach a civil agreement.
- The insurance company refuses to acknowledge liability or pay.
- The plaintiff wants a public trial that can be used as an example and wishes to pursue punitive damages.
Trials can take 1-3 years to resolve, particularly when there are appeals filed. Legal professionals often rely on investigative teams and expert witnesses to build substantial claims for maximum compensation, despite lengthy proceedings. However, the process can be challenging, particularly if the plaintiff has to take the stand, so you should hire a competent, responsive legal team.
In the event of lifelong disability, pain, or hardship, a trial may be the only way to ensure these long-term expenses are fully covered.
Is a Settlement or Court Case Best for personal injury case?
A personal injury trial is a gamble because you may walk away with nothing. If you win, you’ll get 4-10x what you’d get in a settlement. The largest amounts go to pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can assist you. A contingency fee applies. You owe no legal fees unless compensation is recovered.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
At the personal injury law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C., we prepare every Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ lawsuit as if it will go to trial. Ultimately, you decide whether to accept an offer or pursue damages in court. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.