Accident victims sometimes avoid seeking compensation for their injuries due to fear of a lengthy public trial. While it is true that most civil trials are public and time-consuming, there is some good news for accident victims who are trepidatious about going to trial: approximately 97 percent of all cases settle before trial. In other words, the average plaintiff is highly unlikely to go to trial. Of course, some cases do go to trial. In this article, we examine some of the factors that affect whether a case goes to trial.
Reasons Cases Settle Before Trial
There are several reasons that most cases settle before trial. A case may settle before trial if
- the defendant’s insurance company believes the plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit will succeed in court;
- the settlement amount requested by the plaintiff’s attorney is cheaper than the defendant’s cost of attorney’s fees and court costs; or
- the settlement offered by the defendant’s insurance company is fair and similar to the amount the plaintiff would likely win in court.
Reasons Cases Go to Trial
As we noted above, although most cases settle, some do go to trial. A case may go trial if
- the defendant’s insurance company offers the plaintiff a low settlement (or no settlement at all);
- the defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want to set a precedent for settling the type of case in question; or
- the defendant’s insurance company thinks the amount demanded by the plaintiff’s attorney is too high.
Factors That Affect Whether a Case Settles or Goes to Trial
Factors that parties examine when determining whether to settle a case or go to trial include
- the cost of treatment;
- the extent of the injuries suffered;
- future medical expenses;
- lost wages, property damage, or other damages; and
- how sympathetic the plaintiff or defendant will appear to a judge or jury.
How to Determine Whether to Settle or Pursue Trial
In most cases, the best judge of whether to settle or take a case to trial is an experienced personal injury attorney. Most experienced personal injury attorneys have negotiated countless settlements and taken multiple cases to trial. Therefore, an experienced personal injury attorney will understand how to effectively analyze the facts of a case to determine a party’s best course of action. In fact, given the complexity of the legal system, it is highly difficult for a plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury case to succeed without the help of a knowledgeable attorney.
Contact a Pensacola and Northwest Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in Florida, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney on your side. At Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., we have over seventy years of combined experience representing accident victims in Pensacola and throughout Northwest Florida. Our experienced attorneys are known throughout the state as aggressive litigators and shrewd negotiators. Therefore, if you have suffered an injury in Northwest Florida, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Posted in: Personal Injury