How Many Personal Injury Cases Settle out of Court?
The prospect of going to trial can be daunting for anyone involved in a lawsuit. The expense, complex procedures, and nerve-wracking experience of being before a judge and jury is something most people would like to avoid. Fortunately, the vast majority of personal injury cases end up settling outside of the courtroom. Personal injury settlement can occur before lawsuits are filed, after a trial starts, or even during jury deliberations. Settling out of court offers desired advantages to both parties.
Advantages of Settling out of Court
There are benefits to settling out of court for both plaintiffs and defendants. Benefits to plaintiffs include:
- A settlement offers a guaranteed win. Any time plaintiffs go to court, they are taking a gamble, as the jury may not decide in their favor.
- A settlement allows plaintiffs to bypass a lengthy trial. Taking a case to trial can last months or years, forcing plaintiffs to wait quite a while for much-needed income and financial support.
Benefits for defendants include:
- A settlement keeps attention away from a defendant. Settling a claim can circumvent the publicity of a trial. Terms can be added to settlements which include confidentiality to keep matters out of the public eye.
- A settlement helps defendants manage risk. By offering a settlement, a defendant can avoid the uncertainty of damage awards in a jury trial.
Insurance and Settlements
If an insurance company is involved in your personal injury case, you are likely to be offered a settlement. These companies have the funds available to pay claims, and they are expecting to do so for some of the claims against them. Offering a personal injury settlement can be advantageous, allowing the insurer to avoid the uncertainties of a trial and the associated costs.
Prepare for Trial
Despite the fact that most claims do settle outside of court, you should always prepare for trial. This will provide you, as a plaintiff, a valuable bargaining chip when it comes to negotiating a settlement. A skilled personal injury lawyer can prepare your case for trial as well as assist you in leveraging a settlement.
Do you have questions about settling your personal injury claim? Contact Kansas City personal injury law firm, Peterson & Associates, today for a free consultation.