If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident or other incident, one of the first steps towards obtaining compensation from those responsible for your losses is to meet with a personal injury lawyer. But making that first call or having that first consultation doesn’t mean that you and your New Orleans personal injury attorney will wind up in court months or years later presenting your case to a judge and jury at a trial.
Approximately 95% of Personal Injury Lawsuits Settle Before Trial
In fact, the odds of your personal injury lawsuit being resolved at trial are fairly slim. It is estimated that over 400,000 personal injury lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year. But only about four percent of those cases go through a full trial. That means that around 95% of all personal injury lawsuits get resolved without the need for a trial. Some suits may end by a pre-trial ruling in favor of one side of the other, but the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases get resolved through a settlement that results in compensation for the injury victim. There are many reasons that this figure is so high, even in cases where one of the parties believe that they have a winning case if they were to go to trial. These include:
Taking a personal injury lawsuit all the way through a trial is an expensive proposition for defendants and insurance companies whose main goal is to resolve claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. Even if the insurance company believes that it has a rock-solid defense that should defeat the plaintiff’s claims, it still may offer a substantial settlement to an injury victim because that amount may still be less than the cost of defending the case tooth and nail.
Certainty v. Risk
Additionally, both the plaintiff and the defendant take a significant risk going to trial. The reality is there is no such thing as a “slam dunk” personal injury case. Juries and judges can be unpredictable, and there is always a chance that a trial will result in a judgment which either costs a defendant more than they could have settled the case for or leaves a plaintiff with nothing when they could have accepted a substantial settlement before trial.
Why an Injury Case May Go to Trial
If settlement is so often how personal injury cases end, why do 5% of injury cases actually go to trial? The reasons can include:
The defendant or their insurer believes that the settlement demand made by the plaintiff doesn’t reflect the actual odds that the plaintiff will prevail at trial or is greater than the potential costs of going to trial.
The insurer or defendant denies all liability for the plaintiff’s injuries and believes that the evidence strongly supports their case.
The defendant’s settlement offer is far too low.
The insurer disputes the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries or does not believe that the plaintiff was injured at all.
Even though most personal injury cases settle, an excellent personal injury attorney always needs to be ready to take every case to trial. If the insurance company thinks that the lawyer is just looking for a quick settlement and doesn’t seem willing or able to go to trial, it will make a lowball and wholly inadequate settlement offer, knowing that the lawyer is likely to take the bait.
Contact a New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Catastrophic Injury Matter
The New Orleans personal injury attorneys at Bloom Legal have earned a reputation for being prepared to go to trial in every case even while keeping the door open for all opportunities for a reasonable settlement. Please contact us through our contact form to arrange for your free consultation.