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Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Were you recently injured in a car or truck accident, or due to someone else’s negligence in Schenectady, New York? If so, you may know that a personal injury claim is on the horizon; however, you may be hesitant to move forward because you fear a lengthy court trial.

We are frequently asked, “Will my personal injury case go to trial?” Since this question comes up frequently, we decided to dedicate a post to it. We’ll tell you right now that the vast majority of personal injury claims do not go to court. In fact, more than 90 percent of them settle outside of court and there are good reasons for this.

When a case can settle out of court, it benefits the plaintiff (the injured party) and the defendant (the at-fault party). For example, it’s common for insurance companies to be involved in claims. Since a court trial brings bad press and it’s public, insurance companies generally prefer to settle claims outside of court so others don’t know the details.

More reasons why insurance companies prefer to settle:

  • Juries are unpredictable
  • Trials incur more legal fees
  • They have no control over the outcome
  • Trials are public record and can lead to other claims

Plaintiffs benefit from settling as well. With a trial, there is no guarantee that a jury will award more money than a settlement and there’s always a chance of losing, however slight. Even if a plaintiff wins, the legal fees will be higher and they will be taken out of the jury award.

With a negotiated settlement, the plaintiff gets their check much faster and the legal fees are minimized. The goal is to get as much compensation to the plaintiff as possible. This way, the plaintiff has what they need to recover.

When is Trial Necessary?

While most personal injury claims settle outside of court, there is definitely a time and a place for a court trial. Usually, a personal injury case goes to trial when the defendant or their insurance company refuse to agree to a fair settlement or when they are denying a claim altogether. In these situations, it may be necessary to take the case to court.

Even when a personal injury case is filed in court, the defendant and plaintiff can still reach a settlement agreement at any time as long as it’s before the jury verdict is rendered. Sometimes, insurance companies offer a settlement last minute while the jury is deliberating; this usually happens when the insurance company is nervous about the jury’s forthcoming decision.

Need a Schenectady personal injury lawyer? Contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a consultation!