Most people associate a personal injury case with a courtroom and a jury. They think that their case has to go to trial in order to get the money to which they are legally entitled. The truth is that very few personal injury cases will ever go to trial. That is actually good news for plaintiffs since it means that their case has quite possibly settled without a trial.
While exact statistics are hard to come by, estimates are that only 5% of personal injury cases end up at trial. In actuality, a courtroom is not always the best place for plaintiffs. Most cases that actually go to trial result in verdicts for the defense. This does not mean that defendants would win every single case. It just means that their attorneys are smart enough when the defendant has significant legal risk that needs to be cut by a settlement agreement. The cases that do result in jury verdicts for plaintiffs often lead to high damage awards.
Settlements Keep Cases from Going to Trial
There are two ways that a case can go away without a trial. The first is if the defendant is successful at getting the case dismissed by a judge. This is relatively rare. The second is when the two parties settle the case. When you think about it, you can understand how each party would have an interest in avoiding a trial. For the plaintiff, they likely need the money and do not want to have to wait years to get their money. The defendant does not want to end up in front of a jury unless they have the strongest possible case because otherwise, the results could be disastrous.
This means that, at some point in the case, the plaintiff and defendant will explore a settlement agreement. When that happens depends on how the case is proceeding. The most frequent point for a settlement is after discovery is completed. Then, the defendant realizes the evidence that the plaintiff has obtained and can use at trial. How discovery goes often dictates how much the defendant is willing to offer.
Nonetheless, if the trial begins, nothing prevents the two sides from continuing to talk about settlement. Theoretically, the case can be settled at any time. While settlements in the middle of a trial are rare, they still happen.
However, to keep expectations in check, even a settlement does not mean that you can get compensation instantly. The personal injury litigation process can be very slow, and it may still take years to reach a settlement agreement. Still, chances are that your case may never see the inside of the courtroom.
Contact an Experienced Murfreesboro Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in any type of accident, you need legal representation as you fight for compensation. Call a Murfreesboro personal injury lawyer at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley at (615) 893-1331 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.