Settlement vs. Trial: Which is Most Likely in a Car Accident Claim?
August 29th, 2022|
Dealing with debilitating injuries is the most taxing part of being in a car accident. However, filing a personal injury claim for compensation often initiates a complicated legal process that can also prove stressful for many accident victims, causing them to put their lives on hold.
Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney with a proven track record can relieve your legal burden, allowing you the time and funds you need to recover from your injuries. If you or a loved one have been in a car collision in California, contacting Berg Injury Lawyers can give you peace of mind and ensure that you seek maximum compensation for your damages.
How Many Personal Injury Claims Go to Trial?
Approximately 5% of personal injury cases go to trial, with the remaining 95% settling out of court. Of the cases that go to trial, nearly 90% end in a loss for the plaintiff, with just 10% receiving damages. These statistics suggest that it is far more likely that if you file a personal injury claim, it will be settled out of court rather than going to trial.
Reasons to Settle Your Personal Injury Case
Most car accident claims settle out of court due to the claims process. After a car accident, your attorney will help you file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. They will send a demand letter, asking for a specific amount of compensation that the insurance company can accept or reject.
If your legal team offers the insurance company strong evidence supporting your claim, such as detailed medical bills, photos, videos, or police reports, the company may agree to your demand and settle. If the insurance company rejects your initial demand, your lawyer may negotiate until both parties agree on a reasonable settlement amount.
Why Your Case Might Go to Trial
Your legal team may advise you to take your case to court if the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair amount. Although only a small number of car accident cases make it to trial, those that go on to win are often awarded greater damages. Going to trial allows you to pursue maximum compensatory damages for your injuries.
However, personal injury trials can take months or years to reach a resolution and require detailed preparation from your attorneys. Additionally, if you take your case to trial, a jury will likely decide your damages. California uses pure comparative negligence, which assigns a percentage of fault to each party. If the other side convinces the jury that you are highly responsible for the accident, you will only receive a portion of your settlement.
Hiring an Attorney Increases Your Chance of Recovering Adequate Compensation
Hiring a personal injury attorney ensures you maximize the amount of compensation you receive for all your damages. Your attorney can build a strong claim with relevant evidence and an assessment of your total damages. The attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help you obtain a fair settlement.
A lawyer can use a winning legal strategy to convince the insurance company to offer adequate compensation. This includes offering indisputable evidence that their client caused the accident and that you have suffered serious injuries because of their actions. For example, they may provide witness statements, video of the accident, or medical reports that describe the lasting consequences of your injuries.
The insurance company is more likely to compensate you adequately if they deem that you and your lawyer are serious about taking your case to court. Insurance companies prefer to settle in most cases because of the high cost and effort of litigation, including hiring expert witnesses, calling accident witnesses, and preparing testimonies and evidence.
Your lawyer can use this to your advantage in negotiating your settlement to get you the maximum amount possible.
When the insurance company refuses to settle, having an attorney by your side can increase your chances of gaining a favorable verdict with the jury. The lawyer can prepare your case and argue on your behalf to ensure the jury awards you with the maximum compensation you deserve to achieve justice for your case.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Injury Claim
Whether you settle or if your case goes before a judge and jury, the California car accident lawyers at Berg Injury Lawyers can ensure that your case receives the attention it deserves. We can assess your claim and discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit.
Call our law firm today to schedule a free evaluation with one of our lawyers to discuss your case.