Whether you were involved in a car accident or bitten by your neighbor’s dog, you have the right to pursue compensation for what you have endured. But there are various paths your case can take when pursuing that right to being compensated. These paths are ultimately determined by various factors, such as how clearly the person who hurt you was in the wrong and liable, the amount of money being pursued for your case, and even the individual company who is being negotiated with. When you start thinking of your case, you may wonder what path you’ll take and whether your case will have to go to trial.
The answer is: probably not. According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Justice, only 3% of tort cases went all the way to trial with a verdict, 73% of cases ended up settling.
Because most personal injury cases settle out of court, the majority of the legwork of a good case is in preparing the evidence (documenting medical treatment, the scene of an injury, interviewing witnesses, preparing a demand) and the negotiation process. If you attempt to settle your claim with an insurance company alone and it gets rejected, it can sometimes be too late for a lawyer to get involved to settle or even litigate the claim effectively. This is why an attorney’s years of experience and skill at preparing evidence and negotiating with an insurance company are so critical.
Insurance companies want to get out of this situation by losing as little money as possible; they’re in the business of keeping their money, not paying it out. They achieve this by balancing the risk of them losing a lawsuit, and the potential maximum value of your total claim, offering a settlement amount that balances those two factors. Even though your settlement may be a significant sum of money, it is likely less than the insurance company would lose through traditional litigation–especially if a sympathetic jury wants to award millions of dollars to the plaintiff.
There are downsides and risks to you as well though when it comes to litigation. A lawsuit may be unappealing for you as well, simply due to how long the process can take. Lawsuits can take up to several years of legal proceedings to achieve any results, which makes the smaller offer much more tempting to immediately receive through a settlement. There is also the risk that the jury may not award what you were hoping, making the years you waited for a hopeful larger amount far more painful and frustrating. There is also the risk that you may not receive anything at all, depending on the facts of the case. Additionally, going to trial is very public and removes all aspects of privacy from your case.
The first 24 hours after your accident are the most important as they determine the course of your future, both physically and financially. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed after being involved in a car accident, on top of dealing with injuries and a legal claim, that’s why there is no time to waste in hiring a trusted personal injury attorney who will navigate these complications for you. We’re here to help when you need us most. At the Law Offices of Dan Davis, we are committed to helping you move on from an unexpected injury with ease.