Will My Personal Injury Case Go To Trial?

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The vast majority of personal injury cases do not go to trial and are instead settled out of court. Court records have shown that less than 10% of claims go to a full trial.

If your case does make it that far, however, you can trust the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys—we have the skills and experience to argue your case to insurance companies and ensure that you receive fair representation & compensation in court.

What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

One common question people have is, “How many personal injury cases go to trial?” The answer may surprise you.

As mentioned, only a small fraction of personal injury cases make it to the trial stage. The majority of cases are resolved through settlements or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration.

According to statistics, it’s estimated that around 95% of personal injury cases are settled before they reach trial. This statistic varies by jurisdiction and the type of personal injury case, but it gives you an idea of the general trend. The reasons behind this high settlement rate are multifaceted and often involve factors like time, cost, and risk.

How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

The frequency with which personal injury cases go to trial can also depend on the specific type of injury or incident involved. Cases involving severe injuries or complex legal issues may have a slightly higher chance of proceeding to trial. However, even in these cases, efforts are made to explore settlement options before resorting to a trial.

Factors Influencing the Decision to Go to Trial

Several factors play a pivotal role in determining whether a personal injury case goes to trial or not. Understanding these factors can help you anticipate the likely outcome of your case.

1. Liability and Fault

The strength of the evidence regarding liability and fault is a significant factor. If there’s a clear and convincing case demonstrating that the defendant was at fault and caused your injuries, it may motivate the opposing party to settle rather than risk an unfavorable verdict in court.

2. Damages

The extent of your damages, both economic and non-economic, is another crucial factor. If the potential damages in your case are substantial, the defendant and their insurance company may be more inclined to settle to avoid the risk of a larger payout in court.

3. Insurance Coverage

The availability and limits of the defendant’s insurance coverage also influence the decision. If the at-fault party has significant insurance coverage, they may be more likely to settle to protect their policy limits. Conversely, if their coverage is insufficient, they might be more willing to go to trial.

4. Negotiation and Mediation Efforts

The willingness of both parties to engage in good-faith negotiations and explore mediation options can impact the outcome. If both sides are open to compromise, a settlement may be more likely.

5. Court Backlog

Court congestion and backlog can delay the trial process significantly. This can incentivize parties to reach a settlement to resolve the case more promptly.

6. Legal Representation

Having a skilled lawyer, like a Louisiana personal injury attorney, can make a substantial difference. Experienced lawyers can navigate the legal complexities, negotiate effectively, and advise their clients on the best course of action, often leading to favorable settlements.

7. Risk Tolerance

The parties’ willingness to accept the inherent risks and uncertainties of a trial also plays a role. Trials are unpredictable, and neither side can guarantee a specific outcome. This uncertainty can lead to a preference for settlement.

Why Some Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial

Despite the prevailing trend of settling personal injury cases, some circumstances may lead to a trial becoming a necessity. Let’s explore why a personal injury case might go to trial:

1. Irreconcilable Differences

If the parties involved cannot agree on liability, damages, or the terms of a settlement, a trial may be the only way to resolve their differences. In such cases, a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

2. Lowball Offers

If the defendant or their insurance company presents a settlement offer that is significantly lower than the perceived value of the case, the plaintiff may decide to reject it and opt for a trial in pursuit of a more favorable judgment.

3. Precedent

In some instances, the plaintiff or defendant may have a compelling reason to set a legal precedent or make a point. This can motivate one or both parties to go to trial, even if a settlement offer is on the table.

4. Legal Strategy

Sometimes, the decision to go to trial is part of a well-thought-out legal strategy. Attorneys may believe that a trial will result in a more favorable outcome for their client, and they may advise against settling.

5. Principle

For some plaintiffs, the principle of the matter is more important than a financial settlement. They may be determined to have their day in court and let a judge or jury decide the case.

6. Uninsured or Underinsured Defendants

If the defendant has no insurance or inadequate coverage, there may be limited opportunities for a settlement. In such cases, the injured party may have no choice but to take the case to trial to seek compensation.

The Role of Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury cases can be complex, and the knowledge of legal professionals is invaluable in guiding clients through the process. A personal injury attorney, in particular, can provide critical support to individuals pursuing personal injury claims in the state.

These attorneys specialize in personal injury law and have a deep understanding of Louisiana’s specific regulations and legal procedures. They can assess the merits of your case, negotiate with the opposing party, and help you make informed decisions about settlement offers and trial options.

Contact a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today

While the prospect of a personal injury case going to trial can be intimidating, it’s essential to recognize that the majority of these cases are resolved through settlement. Factors such as liability, damages, insurance coverage, negotiation efforts, and the presence of skilled legal professionals all influence the outcome. In some instances, going to trial may be necessary due to irreconcilable differences, lowball offers, or the pursuit of legal precedents.

For individuals in Louisiana, Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can be a valuable resource for navigating personal injury cases, whether they result in settlements or trials. Understanding the dynamics of personal injury cases and the factors that influence their outcomes is key to making informed decisions and seeking justice for your injuries.

Call us today for a FREE consultation. On top of that, you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s the G Guarantee.