Why Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?


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If you were recently injured and are considering filing a personal injury case, you may be wondering whether most personal injury lawsuits settle and, therefore, guarantee you at least some damages in a payout.

Most personal injury lawsuits do in fact settle before going to trial, especially when filed against an insurance company or other large company.

Why Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle?

Personal injury lawsuits that settle can be good news for the person suing. Here are a few reasons personal injury cases settle:

  1. Settlements help reduce the risk for both parties: Regardless of whether you’re the person suing or the defendant, reaching a settlement agreement helps reduce the risk that a trial brings. You could go to court if you’re the injured party, and a jury could award you nothing. At the same time, the defendant is worried that, after a trial, the jury will award the plaintiff a large sum of money.
  2. Defendants want to keep their name out of the spotlight: Often, if the defendants see they have some fault in the incident, they’ll agree to a settlement because it avoids a lengthy trial and keeps the incident quiet. The media could cover a trial or its outcome, and defendants want to avoid such bad press.
  3. It avoids a long trial: After an injury, the plaintiff wants to heal, pay their bills, and move on. The defendant wants to minimize the manpower spent on a personal injury trial. Trials can drag on, and appeals will make the process last even longer. Agreeing to a settlement wraps up the case, allowing everyone to move on.

What Else Should I Be Aware Of In Personal Injury Cases?

If you’ve suffered a personal injury, the first thing you need to do is recover and seek proper treatment.

It is important to know that Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations on how long you have to file your suit. In most cases, you must file your suit in civil court within two years of the date of the injury, or your case can be thrown out before being heard.

Because most personal injury claims are complex, you must hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Depending on the situation and specific circumstances, an attorney you hire can review your personal injury claim and medical records, then go to the defendant and negotiate a settlement without ever officially filing a lawsuit. This is especially true if the injury is not permanent or severe.

Your lawyer will file an official personal injury lawsuit if the negotiations do not work. Then, discovery starts. This is the process by which each side investigates the claims and possible defense arguments. Next, the case will either go to mediation and negotiation or trial. If your case does go to trial, sometimes a settlement will be reached at this point, as both sides might be worried about how a jury would perceive the case.

How Much Will My Personal Injury Case Settle For?

As the plaintiff, your goal is to receive a personal injury settlement that covers your medical bills, lost wages, and perhaps even emotional distress or other damages. On the other side of the case, the defendant likely also has a range they feel they may lose if this case goes to court. A personal injury attorney’s goal is to get you, the plaintiff, the higher end of the range the defendant has in mind to cover all your costs and any damages in a settlement.

How Do I Get The Largest Amount Of Damages For My Personal Injury Case?

Although most personal injury claims settle, you need to pick a law firm that treats every case as if it were going to trial. Many personal injury lawyers take cases intending to settle quickly, often for much less than if the case went before a jury. The personal injury attorneys at Ross Feller Casey are dedicated to preparing for every case to go to trial, even though most personal injury cases are settled.

At Ross Feller Casey, we have a national reputation for winning record-setting, multimillion-dollar recoveries for accident victims in personal injury cases. We settle many cases, but only when it is in the client's best interest. We handle all our cases contingently, which means you don’t pay unless we win. Contact Ross Feller Casey to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.

About the Author

Christopher Maloney joined Ross Feller Casey after a distinguished 21-year-career as a top prosecutor in Montgomery County, where he represented victims of serious crimes.

Christopher Maloney

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.