According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 90% of all personal injury settlement claims never go to trial.
The wheels of justice, as they say, turn slowly. While this is true in many legal battles, it is even truer when referring to civil cases related to victims of auto accidents.
Perhaps the insurance company made an unfair counteroffer, or you’re facing a mandatory mediation with little time to prepare.
Personal injury cases usually settle quicker than any other type of case. That’s because the costs can be high, so a court battle can cost both you and the insurance company a lot of money.
If you were in an auto accident and you’re deciding which path to pursue, read on to learn why most personal injury court cases usually settle out of court.
Reasons Why Personal Injury Cases Settle Out of Court
It’s not always clear if you should take a settlement or go to trial.
But why should you settle out of court? Do you take your personal injury claim to trial, or is it in your best interest to settle? What should you consider when deciding which path is right for you?
Here are some of the main factors that could influence your case, and common reasons why most cases result in a personal injury settlement.
Proof of Liability and Damages
To receive compensation for your injuries, you must prove two things: liability and damages.
When it comes to personal injury cases, there are a lot of factors that can influence your case. Several of these factors include:
- Time frame in which you receive medical attention
- Type of medical attention you receive
- Other extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to your accident
The lawsuit will contain a statement of all injuries and damages sustained due to the alleged incident.
It’s up to the plaintiff and their attorney to provide evidence for all allegations within the complaint. The process involves taking witness testimony, providing medical records, photographs, or other physical evidence related to your injuries. The burden of proof in most civil cases is a preponderance of the evidence.
If you win at trial, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and future losses. You will also likely receive payment for attorney fees and court costs.
However, this does not mean the compensation will be enough to justify going to trial.
Potential Compensation and Outcome
The greater the amount of money demanded by the plaintiff, the more likely the case could proceed to trial. It would need to be a significant amount of money.
Your lawyer would consider several factors to determine whether the claim should be settled or go to trial. Several of which include:
- Amount of money demanded by the plaintiff
- Legal merit of the plaintiff’s case
- The defendant’s financial status
If your lawyer thinks they can win at trial, there are rare circumstances when they would be willing to stand their ground and risk going to court. But, unfortunately, even if the civil case involves a large corporation, successful plaintiffs often receive little money after attorneys’ fees.
Attorney Fees and Expenses
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they charge no fee upfront. Trial lawyers have to spend time preparing your case and presenting it. In addition, they typically take a percentage of whatever compensation is awarded to their clients.
How much they take can vary, but it’s usually between one-third and 40 percent. But, of course, this percentage is in addition to the cost of legal fees.
If the case does not settle, your lawyer must invest more time and money through trial preparation and court appearances. If your lawyer thinks it’s likely the judge or jury will decide against you, why would they want to waste more time and money on an unsuccessful effort?
The Jury Might Be Against You
If the jury feels it is more likely than not that your injuries occurred as a direct result of someone’s actions, they will rule in your favor. Unfortunately, while some judges are well-known for their pro-plaintiff attitudes, it’s not always the case.
Plaintiffs can face an uphill battle in other judges’ courtrooms. What if the jury is considered pro-defendant? It’s a possibility. And only by going to trial would you find out where you stand with them.
Not Worth the Time and Stress
Filing a personal injury lawsuit takes time, money, and effort. Even if the case settles quickly, it could cause considerable stress for the victim and everyone involved. In most cases, going to trial isn’t worth the time and stress involved, especially if the likely outcome isn’t worth the time and energy spent.
Neither side could have any evidence to convince a judge or jury of their arguments. Even if the evidence is there, the plaintiff and defendant often agree on a fair amount.
Nobody wants to carry the emotional burden of going through litigation. If you’re going to move on with your life, it’s always better to take a settlement.
Another reason why most personal injury cases settle out of court is because the benefit of a trial isn’t worth the risk. Even if you win the case, the odds are your personal injury lawyer will receive a considerable portion of the compensation.
Do you want to risk going home with a smaller settlement or no settlement at all?
What do you do if you need money now and can’t afford to wait for the entire process to finish?
Personal Injury Settlement Funding
Personal injury settlement funding and a legal settlement advance loan can help you pay for the medical care, rehabilitation treatment, and physical therapy after an auto accident. You may also be able to buy home healthcare equipment, replace lost income while you are unable to work, or cover other expenses.
Personal injury cases can take a long time to settle. But why wait for your case to settle out of court? You can receive your funds shortly after applying.
If you have questions or would like to apply for personal injury settlement funding, you can contact us. We’re here to help and offer support.