percentage injury cases settle

Whether a case goes to trial or settles out of court depends on the details of that particular case. Generally speaking, up to 95% of cases are settled before court proceedings begin; in other words, they don’t go to trial. Most personal injury cases in New York are settled during one of the pre-trial stages, where all involved parties meet before a judicial officer, or a trial judge, or a magistrate.

Whether you make a personal injury settlement or go to trial, you must consider the associated pros and cons. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is possible that you will get more compensation by going to a trial than simply accepting what’s offered during a pre-trial settlement. But there is also a possibility that you could lose at trial and receive a verdict for less than the settlement offer you got from the defendant or get absolutely nothing at all. 

Why Your Personal Injury Claim in NYC May Settle Before Trial

Here are some reasons why your New York personal injury claim may settle before your case goes to trial:

  • If your NY personal injury attorney is requesting a settlement that is small enough that it will be less expensive to just settle rather than spend exorbitantly on court costs and legal fees.
  • If the insurance company of the defendant is fairly confident that you will win if your case goes to trial, they may decide to offer you a settlement.
  • If the defendant’s insurance company is offering a fair settlement offer, and it is comparable to what you may win at trial.

Why Your Personal Injury Claim May Go To Trial

Here is why your case may go to trial:

  • If the defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want to create a precedence for settling the type of personal injury claim you’ve filed.
  • If the defendant’s insurer believes they will win the lawsuit, and so, they are offering a low or no settlement offer.
  • If, on the grounds of public good or principle, it is critical for the other party to be held liable for injuries caused due to their reckless conduct.
  • If the compensation asked by your attorney is too much for the insurance company to settle without fighting it in court.

Is Your Personal Injury Attorney Willing To Fight For Your Rights?

Just because every lawyer is qualified to go to trial doesn’t mean they have the skills or experience to do so. This is why some personal injury attorneys or car accident attorneys only take cases if they are 100% certain they can settle without going to trial.

This can put their clients at a disadvantage as the insurance company could be aware of your attorney’s reputation for avoiding trials. In this case, the insurer will try – and most likely succeed – in negotiating your attorney down further than they would usually be able to when the option of going to trial is on the table.

Why Avoiding A Trial Might Be Better Than Getting A Judge or A Jury Verdict

There are several reasons why both parties might find it preferable to settle the claim before going to trial. For starters, both defendant and plaintiff can reduce their court costs and legal fees while their attorneys can close out the case faster.

The very nature of trials is uncertain; no one can predict which party will win. Thus, involved parties may accept a certain settlement offer, even if it is less than what they were expecting for their injuries and losses. Keep in mind that a settlement offer is typically worth more due to the costs, time, and unpredictability associated with a court trial.

For example, your personal injury claim may end up winning $500,000 at trial. However, your attorneys will need to spend about $100,000 to engage the services of crash reconstruction specialists and expert witnesses to testify at trial on your behalf. Your lawyers may also need to spend hundreds of hours on your case proceedings to prepare for the trial. So, if the at-fault party offers you $400,000 during negotiations, it might be best to take that pre-trial offer.

Factors That Influence A Settlement Offer in New York City

There are a few things that affect an NYC personal injury settlement offer, or the decision to reject the settlement and go to trial:

  • Jurisdiction, community protocols, and precedence
  • Medical treatment expenses
  • Degree of injuries sustained (their future impact on your life)
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and loss of ability to earn future income
  • Age and family circumstances of the client
  • Property damage and other losses

A personal injury lawyer who has trial experience in New York and has negotiated countless settlements will be able to determine the total extent of damages and losses. They will also be able to evaluate your case details to give you an estimation of how much compensation you can expect.

Please note that if a lawyer believes that their client might end up alienating the jurors or the judge, they may settle below what they normally would avoid possibly losing at trial. Also, if an attorney is working on a drunk driving injury case in a jurisdiction where DUI is taken extremely seriously, and there is considerable community indignation, they may be able to receive a larger settlement than they normally would. 

Of course, every case is unique. A personal injury lawyer needs to know the exact details of your case to offer you a reasonably accurate amount of what your claim is worth.

Plaintiffs With Expert Legal Representation Tend To Receive Bigger Settlements

According to the Insurance Research Council, the average individual receives a settlement 3.5 times bigger with legal assistance than without it. This can obviously make a huge difference in a personal injury case in New York. But depending on your situation, the particulars of the law can become somewhat complicated:

  • What if the dog bite you suffered made you severely ill and ends up costing you thousands of dollars?
  • What if the dog’s owner refuses to take responsibility for the bite?
  • What if the individual who rear-ended you does not have insurance? Or their insurance company refuses to pay altogether?

These are just a few quick examples where the claim can easily become more complex. Any time you are injured and have to get involved with another party or an insurance company for your claim in NYC, you have the right to consult a lawyer and have them represent you.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Negotiate With Insurance Company For You

It is a well-known fact that insurance companies try to intimidate injury victims and get out of paying a fair settlement. They will tell you things like:

  • Your doctor’s evaluation is not good enough and you need to be examined by one of their “approved” medical professionals
  • You cannot prove in court the full, long-term extent of your injuries (physical and/or emotional)
  • You were actually responsible for the accident and your injuries

In addition, they will use every tactic and resource at their disposal to tie up your personal injury claim settlement, while you are forced to bear the mounting medical and other expenses. Their goal is to make you so desperate for money that you’ll be willing to settle for an amount less than what you deserve.

The attorney’s reputation is everything when dealing with insurers and their claims adjusters. If you have a successful and well-known legal firm on your side, you have a much higher chance of receiving the money you deserve, partly because the insurance company will know that picking a fight with a skilled lawyer with a proven track record and it will cost them far more if you go to trial. 

Your attorney will work with your medical team to evaluate the future impact of your injuries and recovery. A good accident law firm in NYC will have represented countless injury cases and will have extensive experience accurately calculating lost income potential and future medical costs. 

Contact the Leading Trial Attorneys For Your Personal Injury Case in New York

New York has some of the most complicated sets of laws when it comes to personal injury cases. As some do, you can handle your legal situation on your own and try to represent yourself, but that is a time-consuming process and there is no guarantee you will be able to win.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our experienced personal trial attorneys are well-versed in:

We offer a free legal consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions and concerns you might have. Our attorneys will explore the different strategies with you and go over the best approach to get the maximum possible compensation. Our most important goal is to help you recover damages for your troubles and get your life back on track as soon as possible. To know more about how we can help you, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.


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