The short answer is “probably not.” Fewer than 5 percent of personal injury cases go to trial. More than 95 percent are settled pre-trial. There are many reasons for this, but the overarching one is that, in a personal injury lawsuit, going to trial is rarely beneficial for either party.
This blog from Amarillo personal injury attorney Channy F. Wood breaks down the reasons why personal injury cases almost always settle, why settling before trial can benefit you, and the situations in which you may want to take your case all the way to trial.
Channy is a sixth-generation Texan who was born and raised on his family’s Panhandle farm. Whether your best option is to settle or go to trial, he will never back down in the face of insurance companies. He will go toe-to-toe with them to get you the compensation you deserve.
Why Most Personal Injury Cases Settle
Simply put, in the vast majority of cases, it doesn’t benefit you or the defendant to go to trial. From the insurance company’s perspective, settling eliminates the risk that a jury could award considerable pain and suffering damages that cost far more than a settlement would.
From your perspective, settlements mean you get your money more quickly and avoid the risk of getting nothing if you lose your trial. Settlements can also be private, whereas trials are not.
Benefits of Settling
In the majority of personal injury cases, settling will be your best option. The reasons for this include:
- Guaranteed money: There may be a chance that you could secure massive pain and suffering damages in a trial that you wouldn’t get in a settlement, but this is not guaranteed. You may walk away with nothing if the jury or judge decides against you. In a settlement, Channy will negotiate with the insurance company to get you fair compensation. Often, the amount you receive from a settlement ends up being equivalent to what you could have obtained from a trial.
- Speedy payout: Trials are incredibly time-consuming. The process may take months or years to resolve. If you are incurring massive medical expenses from your injury, you may not be able to wait that long. Trials can also be emotionally draining as they force you to relive your trauma over and over again for a long period of time. With a settlement, you can take your money, put the matter behind you, and focus on your recovery.
- Going to trial is a considerable risk: Of the small number of personal injury cases that do go to trial, about 90 percent end up decided for the defendant. A big reason for this is that insurance companies spend more than $3 billion per year in advertising to paint themselves as your “good neighbor” and personal injury plaintiffs as money-grubbing liars. Juries are easily influenced by this. The insurance company’s lawyers will also try to paint you in the worst light possible.
- Lower court costs: The longer a case goes, the more lawyer fees and court costs accumulate. Going to trial is very expensive. And if you don’t win at trial, you may be forced to pay the court costs for the other party.
When to Take Your Personal Injury Case to Trial
Sometimes, the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement. They may not offer one at all. If a reasonable agreement can’t be reached, a trial is the only option to get you the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, it’s enough to begin the process of going to trial. Insurance companies don’t want to go to trial, either. When they see that Channy has already started court filings and proceedings to start a trial, that may get their attention and spur them to settle.
Contact Our Amarillo Personal Injury Attorney Today
Channy prepares every case as though it will go to trial, even though most will not. This will not only give you a leg up if your case ends up at trial, but it will also put pressure on the insurance company throughout the process to make you a fair settlement offer.
Whether he’s negotiating a settlement or arguing in a courtroom, Channy will forcefully go after insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. He didn’t spend years working in the West Texas oil fields to back down from some insurance adjuster.
Channy serves Amarillo and nearby areas of Texas. Call (806) 372-9663 today to schedule your free consultation.