Why Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

If you are an injury victim moving through the court process, you may want to know, “Why is my personal injury case going to trial?” The answer to this question depends on the unique circumstances at play in your situation. For example, you and your lawyer may have decided that pursuing a trial makes the most strategic sense. Or you and the at-fault person or business may have been unable to reach a fair settlement.

Steve Morris Law has over two decades of invaluable experience fighting for those who are hurt because of drunk drivers, reckless surgeons, greedy pharmaceutical companies, and other wrongdoers. We respect the fact that we are visitors in our clients’ lives. As such, we seek to source empowering solutions that help them begin to rebuild.

Personal Injury Cases: The Differences Between a Settlement vs. Trial

Personal injury lawsuits can end in a couple of different ways. One way is through a settlement; the other is through a trial.

A settlement is where the injury victim and the person who harmed them agree on terms to resolve the dispute without going to trial. For example, the at-fault driver might agree to pay the casualty a specific sum of money to cover their losses in exchange for the casualty dropping the case. In many cases, the settlement is kept confidential and does not require the wrongdoer to admit fault.

In contrast, a trial is where both sides present legal arguments and evidence in front of a judge or jury. In a bench trial, the judge makes the decision. In a jury trial, the jurors take on this responsibility. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury makes a final decision about how the case should end. For example, the judge may decide the drunk driver is at fault for the car accident and order them to pay the requested compensation package.

Why Cases Sometimes Go to Trial

While a large portion of personal injury cases end in a settlement, there are many reasons why going to trial may be appropriate. If you are in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit and wondering if going to trial or settling makes sense, it may be time to talk to a lawyer.

An attorney in Alabama can help you understand the difference between a settlement and a trial. Likewise, they can review settlement offers you received from the other person or their insurance company. If the proposals do not fairly compensate you for your losses, your legal team can take steps to maximize your chance of receiving a comprehensive damages award.

What are the factors that can lead to a trial?

Many different factors can influence whether a case goes to trial. For instance, the strength of the legal arguments, the complexity of the case, and the severity of the person’s injuries can all play a part in this decision.

What are the benefits of taking a personal injury case to trial?

For the casualty, the benefit of going to trial is they might receive a higher amount than the at-fault party would agree to in a settlement. The judge and jury would have more leeway in terms of what they award the casualty. Additionally, going to trial allows the injured person the chance to walk away from unfair tactics the insurance company, hospital, or other party might be using to try to get them to accept a low settlement.

What are the downsides of taking a personal injury case to trial?

If you are a personal injury victim, the downsides of going to trial include potentially losing your case. The judge or jury may not side with you because of contributory negligence or other reasons. Additionally, you do not have as much control over the outcome and what you receive in damages at the end of the case. One way to protect yourself against the potential negative consequences of going to trial is to work with a razor-sharp personal injury attorney.

How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

The number of personal injury cases that go to trial varies each year. That is because each case is different and calls for a result based on the facts and circumstances in that specific situation.

The general consensus, however, is that many personal injury cases end through settlement rather than through trial.

Two reasons why this might occur is that the parties decide it would be cost-effective and remove uncertainty if they reach a negotiated agreement. Instead of handing over the decision-making process to the judge or jury, they can work together toward a goal that works for both sides. Additionally, they can avoid the added expense and stress of participating in a trial that may take days, weeks, or even months.

Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?

Whether a personal injury case ends with a settlement or a trial depends on a host of factors.

Because of this, there is not a typical or average outcome for any given case. That said, it is relatively common for a personal injury case to end through a settlement.

Just because settlements are more likely does not mean the casualty should automatically accept an offer sent to them by the insurance company or at-fault party. Instead, a casualty may benefit from talking to an attorney before accepting an offer they receive.

The lawyer can review the proposal and estimate whether it fairly compensates the casualty or not. Additionally, the law firm can tell them if going to trial would be in their best interest.

Contact an Alabama Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Help

If you are wondering, “Why is my personal injury case going to trial?” there may be a couple of different answers to this question. You may have rejected the insurance company’s offer to settle the case. Or you and your attorney may have decided that going to trial is in your best interest.

At Steve Morris Law, we appreciate the vulnerability and frustration you may feel in the aftermath of an incident that uprooted your life. We know life does not stop just because you were in an accident. We provide flexible meeting locations and are happy to travel to you if you are in our service area. Call us today at 256-357-9211 to learn more and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Client Testimonials

Get Started Today
With A Free Case Evaluation

Available 24/7

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.