Why Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?

If you’ve been in a car accident or truck accident that has left you injured, if someone can be held liable for your damages, you may have a cause for a personal injury lawsuit.

While it’s best to prepare for the worst legal scenarios when working on your case, personal injury attorneys know that most personal injury cases settle outside of court. Why? It all comes down to time, money, risk, and—sometimes—public image.

Why Settlement is the Most Popular Option

Most personal injury claims settle without the parties having to endure litigation. And there’s a good reason for that. A trial is no picnic, and you may find that the benefits of settling your personal injury claim outside of court make it the best option for your situation.

Takes Much Less Time Than Trial

While a settlement offer outside of court could conceivably be agreed upon and paid out within a few weeks from the date the claim is filed, personal injury lawsuits can sometimes take years to settle or go to trial. Plaintiffs and defendants alike are known to settle their cases simply to avoid months, or even years, of enduring a court case.

Guarantees a Payout

When you go to court, you’re at the mercy of a jury and/or a judge to decide the fate of your case. This means you may get awarded the maximum recovery possible. Still, it could also mean you get nothing at all if the court rules in the defendant’s favor.

When you settle with the insurance company outside of court, at least your settlement check is guaranteed.

Offers More Privacy

Court proceedings are a matter of public record, so if you choose to go through with a trial, most of the information discussed—like your injuries, how they affected your life, and even the amount of your medical bills—is available for anyone in the public to view. A settlement avoids expending time and money and can keep your case a bit more private than a trial would.

Defendant Doesn’t Have to Admit Fault

In the case of the alleged responsible party—particularly if the defendant is a corporation or other organization with a lot at stake— admitting fault and determining liability in a public trial can have dire consequences for their future.

However, if a settlement agreement is decided, the defendant doesn’t necessarily have to admit liability in the agreement’s language. They just have to agree to pay the pre-trial settlements to the personal injury claimants.

Should You Settle Your Personal Injury Case or Go to Trial?

Being injured is costly. Not only are there mounting medical bills, lost wages, and sometimes damaged property, but there are other damages to consider, like pain and suffering and diminished earning capabilities. Ensuring that the settlement agreed upon is sufficient to cover the damage caused is essential.

Finalizing your personal injury claim outside of court in a pre-trial settlement may not be the best option if specific scenarios are at play.

Here are some common reasons accident victims go to trial:

  • The plaintiff’s injuries are severe
  • The at-fault party’s insurance company is refusing to offer a fair settlement
  • Negotiations have been unsuccessful
  • The plaintiff wants to pursue punitive damages

At Hess Injury Law, we try to get cases done the easy way, but if insurance companies don’t want to do the right thing, we are prepared to move our client’s cases to trial.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers Today

It can be a painful, frustrating, and stressful time if you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence. Remember that you don’t have to brave the legal road ahead of you all by yourself.

While most personal injury cases settle before going to trial, you need an attorney that can see you through to the very end of your lawsuit— even if that means going through litigation and trial. Our personal injury attorneys at Hess Injury Law can help you work toward a smoother, more efficient, and more successful personal injury claim.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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