When most people think of a lawsuit, they imagine attorneys arguing at trial before a judge and jury. Although this is an accurate representation of cases that go to trial, it may surprise you to know that the majority of cases never make it that far. In fact, it has been estimated that approximately 97% of all personal injury lawsuits settle before trial. But why is that? In this article, we examine the reasons that most personal injury cases settle before a plaintiff and defendant ever step foot in a courtroom.
Trial Outcomes are Uncertain
When you take a case to trial, you never know what is going to happen. Juries are notoriously unpredictable, so even if you have a strong case, going to trial can be risky. In order to avoid the uncertainty of trial, parties often choose to settle.
Litigation is Expensive
Another common reason that most cases settle is the cost of litigation. There are multiple expenses associated with litigation, including expert witness costs and attorney fees. By the time a case makes it to trial, the costs can be immense.
The Litigation Process is Slow
From start to finish, the litigation process can take a year or more—that’s a long time for an injured client to wait for compensation. And even if the plaintiff in a case is successful, there’s always the possibility of an appeal, which can further prolong the process. Many parties opt to settle and avoid the lengthy litigation process.
Trials are Public
Most civil trials are public record. This means that private information becomes public as soon as it is a part of the official record of a personal injury lawsuit. When parties settle, on the other hand, most or all of the information related to the case remains private. This leads many parties that value their privacy to choose settlement over trial.
Trials are Stressful
Finally, trials can be stressful for all parties involved. For an injured plaintiff, it can be extremely stressful to relive an accident over and over again throughout the course of a trial. And as discussed above, the uncertainty associated with trial only adds to this stress. However, plaintiffs aren’t the only ones who find trials stressful—even corporate defendants tend to dislike them. When an organization is a defendant in a case, its employees and corporate officers must prepare to testify, gather documents for discovery, and discuss the case with corporate attorneys.
West Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in an accident in West Virginia? If so, you need an experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney on your side. At Hewitt & Salvatore, we will treat your personal injury case as our top priority as we vigorously pursue compensation on your behalf. When you come to us for assistance with your personal injury case, we will do everything in our power to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. Please contact our office today to begin your road to recovery.