Personal Injury Case
In the event of a personal injury case – a car accident, medical malpractice, falling down and injuring yourself on slick floors at a restaurant, losing a limb in a factory accident at work – the first vision those who have been injured might have is a courtroom trial based on preconceived notions inspired by media portrayals of such events.
In reality, few personal injury cases ever make it to trial.
In the majority of cases with merit, the case is settled before trial, sometimes on the courthouse steps. But only rarely do personal injury cases result in a trial by jury.
If you are wondering about the statistics, of the personal injury cases bound for trial in the United States, only four to five percent end up there. The rest – 95 to 96 percent – are settled pretrial.
If you think you want to push for a trial, it’s important to realize that in 90 percent of the cases that do go before a jury, the plaintiff ends up losing. The reason for this is complex, but the laws are written on the side of the defendants, who have more resources and are better able to draw on legal experts who will testify on their behalf, truth or not.
Trial judges are also less likely to allow evidence for the plaintiff, so going in, it’s important to understand that if you win, you will be one of an amazing set of statistics, even if yours is a case that you feel in your heart can’t lose.
Personal Injury Trials: The Reality
When a claim is filed, the defense is usually as interested in settling the case as much as the plaintiff. Settlements are in the best interest of both parties because trials are expensive, and while insurance companies may be unwilling to settle without negotiations, in reality, cases rarely make it to trial.
There are situations where a trial is necessary; a medical malpractice trial where a doctor is unwilling to admit fault and gathering evidence for the plaintiff side can be difficult, for example, but in most cases, depositions and other evidence gathering will be enough for the two sides to come together for a reasonable settlement.
Pre-Trial Settlements: The More Likely Scenario
Once your personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL has taken your case, he or she will invest time and resources in building your case, based on witness statements, medical records, and police reports.
Usually, damages can be clearly outlined with this information in place, and the defense will settle rather than going through the pricey trial process.
Still, if your case does end up going to trial, your attorneys will be prepared to see your case through, as evidence gathered early in the process is always collected with the idea of a trial in the back of your attorney and his or her team’s mind.
Thanks to Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and the likelihood of going to trial.