Why So Many Personal Injury Cases Settle Out of Court

Why So Many Personal Injury Cases Settle Out of Court

Posted By Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

18 Jun. 2018

When people are injured in accidents, such as car accidents, slip and falls, or when they’re injured due to nursing home negligence or medical malpractice, somebody has to pay for their losses. Often, an injured party’s (the plaintiff) losses or “damages” include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and sometimes property damage. Of course, they can have other damages as well.

Can you imagine if you were hurt in an auto accident and you had to stay in the hospital for two weeks? Let’s say your medical bills were in the ballpark of $50,000, maybe less, maybe more. Your car was totaled and you still owe the bank $30,000 on the loan. You missed a whole month of work, so that’s $4,000 you lost. Now, the medical bills are rolling in and you’re past-due on the rest of your bills.

Do you take your case to trial and run the risk of losing? Or, do you accept a settlement from the insurance company? In other words, do you wait for months on end for a jury verdict or do you let the insurance company cut you a check quickly? This is the predicament faced by many plaintiffs, but believe us, insurance companies are thinking about the risks of going to trial too.

Benefits of Settling Out of Court

Did you know that in 95% or more of personal injury cases, they are settled out of court? Even the ones that do make it to trial often resolve through a settlement before the jury comes back with a verdict. But why is this? Why do the lion’s share of personal injury claims settle out of court? Because, there are benefits to both sides including:

  • Since the case is not going to trial, both sides save a fortune on legal fees. In other words, settling drives the costs down significantly.
  • The plaintiff (injured party) doesn’t have to endure a protracted court process. Instead, they get their money a lot faster.
  • Both sides maintain control over the settlement. If they were to take it to trial, their fate would be determined by a jury and juries are notorious for being unpredictable.
  • There’s no guarantee that one side will win at court, so both sides prefer to reduce their risk of losing by entering into a settlement.
  • Through negotiations, the defendant can keep the details of the settlement private. This way, the public won’t know how much they gave to the plaintiff.

While the vast majority of cases settle out of court, there is a time and a place to take a case to trial and usually this is when the insurance company or defendant (at-fault party) refuses to accept responsibility for their negligence, or refuses to offer a fair settlement to the plaintiff. So, trial necessary in some cases.

If you need to file a car accident claim (or another injury claim) in New Jersey, contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law today.

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