Most personal injury cases settle before trial. Typically, an insurance company recognizes the fact that they will spend less in settlement fees by allowing the case to settle than taking their chances with the judge or jury. Also, settling outside of court may present advantages to a plaintiff versus litigating the case in court (which may take months).
Trials Cost Money
The plaintiff has a contingency fee with the attorney, which means that the attorney receives a percentage of the settlement if they win. A defendant, on the other hand, hires an attorney on a retainer and then hourly basis. This creates extensive out-of-pocket legal costs for the respondent.
Paying for an attorney is not the only cost associated with going to trial (for either party). Trials also include costs like:
- Paralegal fees
- Court filings
- Witness fees
- Court costs
- Travel costs
- Lost time from work
Some cases will settle before the pre-trial phase, while others settle after the depositions when the defense can assess what evidence they are facing.
A Trial is Stressful
As a plaintiff, you may feel that going to court is too stressful. While the trial may only last a few days, you miss work, have your personal life strewn about the court, and feel as though you are on trial instead of the victim. It is hard and highly emotional for anyone to deal with a personal injury trial.
This is one reason why plaintiffs choose to settle early – so that they may avoid the stress associated with their trial.
It is Up to the Defense and Negotiations
Sometimes, cases go to trial even if the plaintiff does not want to. If the defense is unwilling to negotiate or discuss a fair settlement, then the plaintiff’s attorney may decide that going to court is the only way for the client to receive the settlement amount deserved.
Explore Your Options – Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Determining if your case will settle outside of court or go to trial is not easy. Even if you hire an attorney, an attorney cannot predict with 100 percent accuracy that you won’t go to court. Instead, he or she can give you odds and guesses based on years of experience. An attorney can also work hard to avoid a trial if that is what you wish to do.