What keeps accident victims from getting the compensation they deserve after an accident? There are a few reasons. But for many people, the fear of going to trial is enough to keep them from seeking an attorney after an accident. They worry about having every part of their life discussed in court, spending days or weeks in front of a judge, and the costs that come with going to court.
However, the vast majority of personal injury cases never even make it to trial. Most are settled outside of court. Learn more about your options now by calling Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370.
Personal Injury Case Estimates
While there are no clear-cut statistics regarding how many personal injury cases go to trial, there are estimates calculated by the U.S. government. According to these sources, just 4% to 5% of all personal injury claims actually go to trial. This means that a full 95% to 96% are settled outside of court, which means that the accident victim never has to go court.
The Percentage May Be Even Lower
Keep in mind, though, that the actual percentage of cases going to court might be even lower. Most claims aren’t even filed in a court, which means they never make it onto the court’s radar. Many smaller claims are settled with just a day or two of negotiations, long before the victim’s attorney even considers taking the claim to court. All of these claims that are settled without any issue are likely to drive down the actual percentage of cases that go to court even lower.
Factors Affecting Your Personal Injury Claim
What does this mean for your claim? Well, if you’re scared of going to court, rest easy knowing that you have a very slim chance of ever setting foot in a courtroom for your personal injury claim. This is particularly true if your claim isn’t worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. For lower value claims, the insurance company is unlikely to spend a ton of money defending their side in court. In these situations, it simply makes more sense to settle, get a liability waiver, and move on.
Understanding the different factors that determine whether or not a claim goes to court can help you analyze the potential outcomes of your claim. Important factors include:
- The value of your claim. As noted earlier, more expensive claims represent a huge loss to insurance companies. They are more willing to go to court to avoid paying one of these settlements.
- How much evidence you have supporting your claim. The stronger your claim is, the harder it is for the insurance company to refute it and deny their client’s liability in the accident. This is why it’s so important to gather all of the evidence you can and provide copies to your attorney.
- Whether or not you played a role in the accident. A lot depends on how clear-cut your accident is. Maybe the other party was drunk or distracted by their cell phone, so it’s obvious that the accident was their fault. But if it’s more complex—for example, you could have avoided the accident at the last second but didn’t—it’s hard to tell how much blame lies with each person. In these situations, the insurance company might be more willing to take their chances in court and see if they can get away without paying you any money.
- How significant your injuries are. The severity of your injuries may also affect the outcome of your claim. If you are left permanently disabled because of your injuries, the insurance company knows they risk paying even more in court. If your injuries are more minor, they might not be as worried about how they look in court.
- Your attorney’s negotiating skills. Choosing the right attorney for your personal injury claim is essential. The stronger your attorney’s negotiating skills are, the less likely it is that you will be forced into the courtroom.
Take the Next Step in Your Claim with Peake & Fowler
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to talk to an attorney and explore your legal options. Set up a consultation with us now by calling us at 803-788-4370 or getting in touch with our team online.