A personal injury claim is initiated to seek compensation for individuals who have been harmed due to the negligence of another party. Incidents involving severe, lasting injuries have the potential to result in large settlements, while even minor injuries can lead to substantial recovery for medical bills and lost income during the recuperation period. Beyond financial restitution, a legal action pursued by a personal injury attorney serves as a means to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent behavior or lack thereof.

Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

Some personal injury cases go to trial but the majority are resolved through settlement, sometimes right before a trial begins. Trials are typically considered a last resort when settlement negotiations fail to reach a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved. Going to trial can be time-consuming, expensive, and uncertain, so both parties typically prefer to settle to avoid the risks and costs associated with litigation.

How Often do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

Around 95 percent of personal injury cases are settled out of court, either through negotiation between the parties or through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. That means that only about five percent of personal injury cases go to trial.

It’s worth noting that in most counties in Washington, cases valued at $100,000 or less will be placed in mandatory arbitration. That means that an arbitrator hears the case and makes a final decision, rather than a jury at trial.

Why Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

In cases where liability (responsibility for the injury) is contested or where the parties cannot reach a mutually acceptable settlement agreement, proceeding to trial may be necessary to resolve the dispute.

Some other reasons that personal injury cases may go to trial:

  • The defendant believes that the amount demanded by the plaintiff’s attorney is too high
  • The plaintiff wants the defendant to be held publicly accountable for their injuries to ensure they don’t harm others
  • The defendant’s personal injury attorney believes their client will win the case
  • The defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want to set a precedent for settling the type of case being brought

Factors That Influence Whether a Case Will be Settled Out of Court or Go to Trial

The plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys examine many factors when determining whether a case should settle or go to trial, including:

  • Whether the plaintiff will appear sympathetic to a judge or jury
  • The extent of the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff’s medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • Whether the plaintiff suffered lost wages, property damage, or other damages
  • The plaintiff’s income and earning capacity
  • The plaintiff’s family situation 
  • The plaintiff’s age and health before the accident

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Following a thorough review of your case details, an experienced personal injury lawyer will provide you with an assessment of the value of your personal injury claim. This evaluation will act as a reference point for assessing the fairness of any settlement proposed by the defendant’s insurance company, if one is offered.

Because each personal injury case is unique, it is important to seek a consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to gain an understanding of your legal rights and to ensure you are taking steps to get a full and fair settlement or jury award.

Contact a personal injury lawyer today!

An accident lawyer can help you recover a full and fair settlement for the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by the negligence of another with no up-front costs to you. We know the sneaky strategies used by insurance companies to get injured people to agree to settlements far below what they are worth. Our clients typically end up with a settlement or jury award that is five to ten times larger than they could have negotiated on their own. We have been representing injured people injured in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. Contact the experienced and hard-working personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Mount Vernon, WA today for a FREE consultation!

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