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Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

If you were recently injured in some type of an accident, whether it was a car accident, something that occurred on someone else’s property, an injury caused by a negligent medical doctor, or something else, you may be wondering, “If I file a claim, will my case go to trial?” This is a common question indeed and we’ll answer it in this post.

When people are injured in accidents, there are two ways they can be compensated for their injuries: 1) by accepting an out-of-court settlement, or 2) through a civil lawsuit that goes to trial and results in a jury award for damages. While a civil lawsuit may seem like the way to go because it could award more money than a settlement, in reality very few personal injury cases go to trial and there are reasons for this.

What is a Settlement Exactly?

To understand the claims process, it’s important to understand settlements, what they are, and how they work. Simply put, a settlement occurs when an insurance company or a defendant (the at-fault party) makes an offer to the plaintiff (the injured party) and he or she accepts it.

Here is some information on settlements:

  • Settlements are often reached before a lawsuit is ever even filed; however, a settlement can be reached at any time during a trial as long as it’s before the jury issues a final verdict.
  • Sometimes, settlements are made while the jury is deliberating. This typically happens when the defendant is nervous about the jury’s forthcoming decision.
  • Once the plaintiff accepts a settlement offer, he or she signs a full liability release, which waives their right to all potential claims against the defendant arising out of the accident at issue.
  • In almost all cases involving insurance companies, a settlement is offered by the liable party’s insurance carrier providing they take responsibility.

Why Most Cases Settle Out of Court

Somewhere in the ballpark of 95% of personal injury cases settle, and here’s why:

  • Settlements result in lower court and legal fees.
  • Settlements allow the defendant to control risk.
  • Settlements allow both parties to exercise control, whereas trials and juries are unpredictable.
  • Settlements allow plaintiffs to receive their money much faster.
  • Settlements can allow a defendant to keep the details private and out of the public eye.
  • Settlements can guarantee plaintiffs a victory where there’s no certainty of winning with a jury trial.

We hope this post helped you better understand settlements vs. trials. To file a claim for compensation in Columbia, SC, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today!


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