A review of statistics regarding personal injury cases, and what it means for you.
Are you aware that 95% of personal injury cases never make it to trial? It’s true! The vast majority of cases are settled before the trial can commence. The government has estimated that as few as 5% of injury cases ever see the inside of a courtroom.
But of that measly 5%, only one in every ten cases will end up with a favorable decision for the plaintiff. Translation? Personal injury cases tried inside the court have been statistically proven to be significantly less likely to succeed.
Lucky for you, all is not lost! Let’s talk about the lawsuit and settlement process, and what it might mean for you.
Personal Injury Cases Settled Outside the Court
If we examine the first statistic more closely, we can interpret it to mean your claim is far more likely to settle outside of the courtroom. But why is that true?
Many reasons exist, but in our many years of experience, the areas listed below are what eventually drive people towards settlement:
- It’s all about timing. Lawsuits are many things, but “quick” is not one of them! By the time you’ve filed suit, and it’s finally made its way onto the court docket, many months will have already gone by. As a result, people tend to become impatient waiting for the process to slowly grind on. If you need to reach a conclusion in a short period of time, you’ll be highly motivated to settle outside of court. (IMPORTANT NOTE: When considering settlement, the full extent of your injuries should be known! If any injuries or lasting damage aren’t yet realized, pushing an early settlement can be a disastrous.)
- Privacy is important. At trial, your lawsuit will become a part of the public record. Everything, including evidence and witness statements, will be publicly associated with the trial. As a result, many people prefer to reach an agreement before trial as a way to safeguard against such information going public. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a settlement to be contingent on the inclusion of a non-disclosure agreement. These clauses block anyone associated with the case from disclosing specific details to any third party and frequently carry hefty penalties for any proven violations.
- You don’t care if someone is “guilty.” The one result a settlement cannot accomplish is public proof of guilt (or innocence). It’s also highly unlikely a plaintiff will ever receive an apology or any other form of responsibility acceptance. All a settlement does is create an agreement on the amount and terms of various payments and damages.
What Are Your Chances for a Favorable Legal Outcome or Settlement?
It’s impossible to guarantee any case will be a “winner.” However, documented evidence, the severity of the injury, and other factors uncovered during discovery will all help determine the scope of your settlement, and your likelihood to win if you go to trial.