How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

Injured as a result of someone else’s negligence?

Whether you were injured in a car accident, a work accident, or some other incident that was caused by someone else, an injury can quickly put your life on hold.

Medical bills start piling up… you miss a ton of work… sometimes you have to get extensive car repairs… And that’s just the beginning when it comes to serious injuries.

In some of the more devastating personal injury cases, injuries are extensive, and they sometimes even cause life-long disability, chronic pain, and the inability to work or enjoy life like you used to.

But how many personal injury cases actually go to trial?

The answer is: not very many.

Research suggests that as little as 2% to 5% of personal injury claims end up going to trial before a judge and jury. What that means is that 95% of cases are settled out of court, and possibly half of those cases are settled without a personal injury lawsuit even being filed.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, an Illinois personal injury attorney can work to get you the compensation you deserve as quickly and efficiently as possible—whether that requires going to court or not.

The Personal Injury Process — From Filing to Settlement

It’s always preferable to settle a personal injury case outside of court. This saves you both time and money if you don’t have to attend hearings, take time off of work, and pay extra legal fees.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury lawyer will start the process by filing a claim for you with the at-fault party’s insurance company, followed by a demand letter. The demand package will include supporting documentation like medical bills, photos of the vehicle, repair estimates, and documents confirming lost wages.

Whether you end up with a simple personal injury claim or a lawsuit will depend on how the insurance company responds to the demand letter.

Negotiating a Settlement Offer

Once the insurance adjuster reviews all of the provided documentation, they’ll typically make an initial settlement offer for your injury claim. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement amount, and if they agree to counter-offers, you’ll receive a settlement check. Most personal injury cases settle and never go to trial.

Going to Trial

If a settlement agreement can’t be reached or if your personal injury claim is denied by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you always have the option to go to trial. If this is the case, a judge and jury will hear the specifics of your case and determine whether you’re entitled to compensation as well as how much the settlement will be.

What Are the Most Common Personal Injury Cases?

  • Auto accidents including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice including medication errors, surgical errors, and wrongful death due to malpractice
  • Workplace accidents including construction accidents, farm injuries, asbestos and mesothelioma, and workers’ compensation
  • Premises liability including slip-and-falls.

How Long Do Most Personal Injury Cases Take?

Since most personal injury cases don’t go to trial, they are typically settled with the insurance company within six months and a year. If a case does advance to a trail, it could take a year or longer to reach a resolution and get a settlement.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

There are a lot of factors in personal injury cases that can lengthen the time between filing a claim and reaching a settlement, including the extent of the damages experienced and the complexity of determining fault.

Severity of the Damages

In cases where catastrophic injuries or wrongful death have occurred, the stakes are much higher for both parties involved than in other cases, and they often include:

  • Severe injuries that lead to extensive medical bills and recovery costs
  • High amounts of property damage, like vehicle repairs
  • Long periods of lost wages
  • Impact on future earning capabilities
  • Reduced quality of life in the future

Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish are also non-economic damages that often come into play in severe injury cases. These are often subjective and can be disputed by the at-fault party’s insurance company, leading to the personal injury case going to trial.

Percent of Fault Assigned to the Injured Party

Illinois personal injury law uses a Modified Comparative Negligence model when determining fault in an accident. This means that for an injured person to be eligible for compensation, they must be responsible for less than 50% of the fault in the incident. Furthermore, the amount of the settlement they receive could be reduced by their percentage of fault.

Determining fault can be complex in some accident cases, and the insurance company will try its best to put as much fault on you as possible in order to reduce your settlement.

Let a Bloomington Personal Injury Lawyer Help

When it comes to getting a settlement for injuries you sustained due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney that understands Illinois personal injury law and will go to bat for you.

Reach out to Onward Injury Law today and rest easy knowing you’re not alone on the road to recovery and compensation.

You may also find these articles helpful

How Do Liens Impact My Personal Injury Settlement?
How Do Liens Impact My Personal Injury Settlement?
Read more
Common Mistakes in Illinois Dog Bite Cases
Common Mistakes in Illinois Dog Bite Cases
Read more
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Read more