What Percentage of New York Personal Injury Cases Settle Before Trial?
People are sometimes hesitant to file a personal injury lawsuit for many reasons. One of the biggest is that they do not want to have to go to court. However, this is rarely necessary. Approximately 95 percent of all personal injury cases settle out of court during the pre-trial phase. Still, if you need to file a personal injury claim, you should work with a New York City personal injury lawyer who has trial experience. It may be the only way you receive the full damages you deserve.
Reasons a Case May Settle Before Trial
There are many reasons personal injury cases settle before they go to trial. Some of these include:
- The settlement your lawyer demanded is a smaller amount than what it would cost to go to trial.
- The defendant’s insurance company is fairly sure that you will win if the matter goes to court.
- The settlement offer made by the defendant’s insurance company is fair and comparable to the damages you would be awarded by a jury.
Reasons a Case May Go to Trial
Of the few personal injury cases that do go to trial, there are some common reasons for that, as well. These are as follows:
- The defendant’s insurer does not want to set a precedent for settling the type of personal injury claim you filed.
- The insurance company covering the defendant believes you will not win your case during trial and so, they offer a low settlement or no settlement at all.
- The defendant’s behavior was so reckless or egregious that it is important to hold them responsible in court.
- The amount of damages you are pursuing exceeds the amount the defendant’s insurer can settle without first fighting it at trial.
Why You Must Ensure You Work with a Trial Lawyer
Even though it is uncommon for a personal injury case to go to trial, it is crucial that you work with a lawyer who has trial experience. Not all attorneys have the necessary experience and skill that successfully navigating a trial requires. The lawyers that lack this expertise will usually only take cases they know will settle out of court. This hurts you in several ways.
First, a lawyer who does not want to go to trial will not work hard to get you the full compensation you deserve. They may encourage you to accept an offer that will not fully cover the cost of your injuries simply because they want to make sure you settle out of court.
Also, insurance companies become familiar with the different attorneys handling various cases. They know which attorneys are willing to go to trial, and which are not. They will use this knowledge against you, knowing you are more likely to accept a smaller offer.
Settlements are Sometimes Better than Going to Trial
Few cases go to trial because sometimes, settling out of court is more beneficial. For starters, a trial can take months and in some cases, even years. You will not receive anything until the trial is over, the other side has appealed the decision, and the appeal process is over. When you settle out of court, you can receive the compensation you need now much sooner, sometimes in as little as just a few weeks.
Going to trial is also much more expensive for both parties. You will incur additional court fees and legal fees that you would not if you settle. Courts charge certain filing fees, and it is not uncommon for lawyers to charge more for going to trial than settling because there is more preparation involved.
Lastly, trials are unpredictable. While taking the matter to court may be the only way you recover the full financial compensation you need, no one can ever tell what a judge or jury may decide. Settling out of court will ensure you receive compensation without leaving the matter up to other people.
What Impacts a Settlement Offer Amount?
There are many different factors that can influence the amount the insurance company offers you after suffering an injury. These include:
- The cost of medical treatment
- The cost of future medical treatment
- The impact the injuries have had on your life
- Lost income, bonuses, benefits, vacation pay, and sick pay
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage and other losses
- Your age and ability to care for yourself, such as if you can no longer cook for yourself due to your injuries
- Precedence, jurisdiction, and community protocols
A lawyer who has experience with trials and settlements can accurately determine how much in damages you deserve. For example, if you were in a car accident with an impaired driver in an area that is known for being particularly hard on that type of crime, it could help you secure more damages.
Insurance Companies Do Not Prioritize Your Well-Being
Insurance companies are not worried about your safety and well-being. They are only interested in protecting their bottom line. They do this by offering you a low settlement that will not cover the cost of your injuries. Many times, they will also delay your claim while your medical expenses and other losses are adding up. They do this so you become desperate and happily accept any settlement offer they present to you.
Once you accept a settlement offer, you will have released the insurer from any future liability. After learning that the compensation received is not enough, you cannot then go back and ask for more. A lawyer can advise on whether a settlement offer is fair, and if it fully compensates you for all of your losses.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyer in New York City Today
Personal injury law in New York is very complex. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our knowledgeable New York City personal injury lawyers can provide the sound legal advice you need and will help you obtain the full and fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.