Of the thousands of court cases filed each year by car accident victims, only a handful ever make it to trial. Estimates put the number of personal injury cases that go before a jury at about 5%. Of those cases, however, plaintiffs are awarded the verdict about 90% of the time.
The facts are clear for those seeking justice for the suffering they’ve endured from the negligence of another person: it’s a challenge to make it to a trial but once you’re there, the odds are significantly in your favor.
The question then becomes, what are the factors that affect whether a personal injury case goes to trial or not?
The first step is to work with an experienced auto accident attorney. They will collect the necessary facts and evidence needed for a trial, such as:
This stage of the process is critical, and an experienced lawyer will collect as much evidence as possible. It’s common knowledge that the better prepared you are to take a case to trial, the more likely you are to reach a favorable settlement. Once all the evidence is in hand, your lawyer will file a claim with the insurance company on your behalf.
It’s important to know that the insurance company will also be hard at work taking witness statements and collecting and reviewing evidence. Insurance providers conduct their own investigations into accidents in order to assess the potential value of your case.
As profit-driven businesses, insurance companies are under increasing pressure to maximize their financial benefit, which means they want to avoid paying out settlements. When they do have to pay out, they will try to minimize the amount. Your lawyer may negotiate with the insurance company with the goal of reaching a fair settlement.
Ultimately, it is your decision whether you go to trial or not. Your attorney will advise you on all of the factors that may affect the outcome of your case, including the statute of limitations, the length of time a trial takes (often years), and if circumstances change so that a settlement becomes your best option. Other things to consider are your risk tolerance and how strong your opponent’s case may be.
An experienced attorney is essential in helping you weigh your options after a car accident. Contact Duncan Firm to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in auto accidents and personal injury.