While the image of a court trial with a judge and jury may be what you have in mind for your personal injury case, about 95 percent of pending personal injury lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement. Yes, that’s right; only one in 20 personal injury cases are resolved in a court of law by a judge or jury while the rest are settled through negotiation or arbitration.
There are many reasons that personal injury cases are typically settled before they reach trial. Attorneys often play a role in advising their clients on the risks and benefits of going to trial versus settling. Based on their experience and knowledge of the case, attorneys may recommend settlement as a practical and favorable option. Let’s take a look at why only five percent of personal injury cases make it to trial.
Why Are Most Personal Injury Cases Settled Out Of Court?
Most personal injury cases are settled out of court for several practical reasons, the biggest of which is that going to trial is time-consuming and expensive because both parties incur legal fees, court costs, and other expenses associated with preparing for and conducting a trial. Settling out of court can save time and resources. In addition, trials are inherently unpredictable. There’s always a level of uncertainty about the outcome, and both parties may prefer to avoid the risk of an unfavorable judgment. Settlements provide a degree of control over the outcome.
There are other benefits to settling a case out of court as well, including privacy and confidentiality. Settlements often come with confidentiality agreements, allowing both parties to keep the details of the case private. This can be particularly important for individuals or companies who wish to avoid negative publicity or protect sensitive information. Litigation can also be emotionally draining for all parties involved. Settling out of court may help avoid the stress, anxiety, and emotional toll associated with a trial, which can also serve to preserve relationships in cases where the parties have ongoing relationships such as business partners.
Here are some other reasons for settling out of court:
- Control over terms. Parties in a settlement have more control over the terms of the agreement. This includes the amount of compensation, the payment schedule, and any other conditions. In contrast, a court decision may impose terms that are less favorable to one or both parties.
- Faster compensation. A settlement allows the injured party to secure compensation more quickly and with greater certainty than waiting for a court decision. Not to mention that courts are often overloaded with cases, leading to delays in scheduling trials.
- Finality. Settlements bring finality to a case. Once an agreement is reached, the parties can move on without the uncertainty and potential for lengthy appeals that can follow a trial verdict.
While settlements are the most common way to resolve a personal injury claim, there are cases where a trial is necessary to achieve justice because a fair settlement cannot be reached. The decision to settle or go to trial depends on the specific circumstances of each case and the priorities of the parties involved.
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!