It's unlikely your car accident or other personal injury case would go to a jury trial. Over 90 percent of these cases settle before trial. However, you shouldn't count on this.
It's essential that your injury claim be investigated, handled, and prepared as if it were going to court. If there are holes and weaknesses in your case, or an insurance company adjuster doesn't believe you're fully prepared to go to trial, it's unlikely he or she will offer you a fair settlement offer.
Why Insurance Companies Often Settle Personal Injury Cases
Both accident victims and insurance companies can benefit from settling a claim out of court. Some of the reasons that insurance companies will ultimately settle a case include:
- Juries are unpredictable, no matter how strong a party’s claim or defense is.
- The insurance company will incur more legal fees if a case goes to trial.
- When a case goes to trial rather than settles, the insurance carrier loses control of the outcome.
- Trials are public and can lead to more claims. Settlements can remain private between a victim and the insurance company.
Reasons it can be beneficial for an accident victim to settle a claim are similar:
- There's no guarantee a jury will award more than a settlement offer—assuming the offer is fair.
- The process of going to trial is lengthy.
- It could cost more in attorney fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses if a case goes to trial.
- A victim can receive his compensation more quickly if a case is settled.
When Could a Jury Trial Be Necessary?
While most claims settle out of court, this doesn't mean a lawsuit won't need to be filed if the carrier is completely unreasonable, or the statute of limitations to file it will soon expire. Many of these cases are settled during the litigation process before the date set for a jury trial.
However, when an insurance provider refuses to offer a reasonable settlement or denies a claim, a victim may have to take his case to trial.
Even when you believe you may settle your claim quickly, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. He will help you avoid common mistakes many victims make which irreparably hurt their claims, and can collect the evidence you need to prove the other party’s negligence before it's lost or destroyed.
At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we have decades of experience fighting for the rights of victims of car accident and other personal injury cases. To learn how we can assist you, start an online chat today and schedule your free consultation.