What Makes a Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?


If you’ve been injured in an accident, whether your personal injury case goes to trial is highly dependent on the details of your case. Most cases do not go to trial. In fact, it has been estimated that over 90% of all cases are settled. In this article, we discuss the factors that affect whether your personal injury case will go to trial or settle. 

Reasons Cases Settle

As noted above, most personal injury cases settle out of court. Reasons that cases settle include:

  • The defendant’s insurance company believes that the plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit will succeed in court.
  • The personal injury settlement amount is low enough that it will be cheaper for the defendant to settle than spend the money on attorney’s fees and court costs.
  • The settlement offered to the plaintiff by the defendant’s insurance company is comparable to what the plaintiff would win at trial.

Reasons Cases Go to Trial

Although most cases settle out of court, some eventually make their way to trial. Reasons that personal injury cases go to trial include:

  • The defendant’s personal injury attorney thinks the defendant will win the case.
  • The defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want to set a precedent for settling the type of case at issue.
  • The amount demanded by the plaintiff’s attorney is too high.
  • The plaintiff believes the defendant should be held publicly accountable for his or her injuries.

Factors That Influence Whether a Case Settles or Goes to Trial

When determining whether a case should settle or go to trial, the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys examine multiple factors, including:

  • The extent of the plaintiff’s injuries
  • The plaintiff’s medical and rehabilitation expenses
  • The plaintiff’s income and earning capacity
  • Whether the plaintiff suffered lost wages, property damage, or other damages
  • The plaintiff’s family situation 
  • The plaintiff’s age
  • Whether the plaintiff will appear sympathetic to a judge or jury

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

After examining the facts of your case, an experienced personal injury attorney will provide you with an estimate of the value of your personal injury case. This will serve as a benchmark for determining whether the settlement amount offered by the defendant’s insurance company, if any, is fair. However, every personal injury case is unique. Therefore, in order to obtain an accurate estimate of the value of your case, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney. 

Contact a Pensacola and Northwest Florida Personal Injury Attorney 

If you’ve suffered an injury in Northwest Florida, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney on your side. At Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., our personal injury lawyers have over seventy years of combined experience representing accident victims in Pensacola and throughout Northwest Florida. Our lawyers are known throughout the state as aggressive litigators and seasoned negotiators. So, if you have suffered an injury in Northwest Florida, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Posted in: Personal Injury