When someone suffers a personal injury, they are often concerned about the claims process, how long it will take, and whether or not their case will go to trial. Usually, you will be dealing with a well-funded adversary such as a large corporation or insurance company, and their goal is to pay you as little as possible for the injuries that you have suffered.
So, what percentage of personal injury claims actually make it to trial? The answer is far fewer than most people believe. Statistically, somewhere between 95% and 96% of all personal injury cases are settled without litigation. So, if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence and need to file a claim, there is a good chance that the case will not see the inside of a courtroom.
It makes sense that so few personal injury cases end up going to trial. Litigation is costly, protracted, and unpredictable. A trial can sometimes take years to complete, and you never know what a jury is ultimately going to decide.
You could end up with significantly higher damages than you would have received by settling, or you could end up with nothing. The other side is making the same calculation, so it is generally in everyone’s best interests to settle the case without a long, drawn-out court battle.
Although most cases are not litigated, the 4% or 5% of cases that do go to trial are very important, because they often help establish legal precedents, and they can help provide a general guideline for how much of a settlement to shoot for. It is also very important to point out that the attorney you choose will be critical in determining the amount of compensation you end up recovering in your case.
The Importance of Retaining an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
When you lodge your personal injury claim, there is a reasonable expectation that the case will not end up going to trial. However, you should be prepared to litigate if necessary, which means choosing a law firm that has extensive trial experience and the proven ability to win large verdicts for their clients.
There are a lot of factors that help determine how much your case is worth. Among them include the extent of your injuries, your role in the accident, which party (or parties) can be held liable, the ability of the defendant(s) to pay, the amount of evidence available to substantiate your claim, and any complicating factors.
Perhaps the most important factor that will help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve is being represented by a skilled personal injury attorney. Working out a settlement involves negotiation, so of course you will need an attorney with strong negotiation skills. In addition to that, your attorney should be able to compile the important facts and pieces of evidence and put together the strongest possible claim – one that will hold up at trial if necessary.
Successful negotiation mostly comes down to leverage. If your attorney presents a rock-solid case to the other side, they will know that they are likely to be better off settling than going through with a trial. But just having a strong case is not enough in and of itself. The other side also needs to know that you present a credible threat of litigation if they do not negotiate in good faith.
There are some firms out there whose entire business model is based on a high amount of volume and settling cases as quickly as possible then moving onto the next one. If the other side knows that the firm that represents you always settles and never goes to trial, what incentive do they have to give you a fair offer? They are far more likely to give you an insultingly low offer that is not anywhere close to what your case is worth.
Going to trial is sometimes necessary, and often times, you need to go through with filing a lawsuit to show the other side that you are serious. It is not uncommon for a case to be settled “on the steps of the courthouse” or shortly before that when the reality of litigation and what it might cost them starts to sink in.
Suffered a Personal Injury in Georgia? Work with a Seasoned Legal Professional
Getting injured through no fault of your own can be a very costly event, and with so much at stake, you need strong legal counsel in your corner working hard to get you the compensation you deserve. If your injury happened in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, call Bailey, Javins & Carter today at 678-981-5370 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment.