The litigation process can be uncertain, costly, and time-consuming and that’s why most personal injury claims settle before trial. Research shows that the average case processing time for injury claims averages 1-3 years in the U.S although this time can vary by case. According to a United States Department of Justice research, civil trials typically reach a conclusive end after 25.6 months from the date of filing– product liability claims take the longest.
The same study showed that most injury claims settle before reaching trial and only 3% of injury claims go to trial. Regardless of the legal channel opted, one thing stands out–the importance of seeking legal advice. Having said that, you should call a Bakersfields personal injury lawyer for consultation. The free consultation involves assessing your situation and recommending the appropriate and available legal opinion.
6 Reasons Why Most Injury Claims Settle before Trial
Probably there are thousands or millions of personal injury claims in the U.S. Luckily for the U.S courts, most of those cases will resolve before trial thanks to the following reasons:
Avoiding Uncertainty Associated with Litigation
Litigation may be the best way to resolve legal issues but unfortunately, it’s full of uncertainties and surprises that may come up when you least expect it. More specifically, your case can suddenly be negatively impacted during the discovery phase– when evidence and crucial information are exchanged by the transacting parties, including the plaintiff, defendant, lawyers, and the court.
In the discovery/investigation phase, an investigator can submit an incriminating piece of evidence, impacting your case negatively. Also, you (the plaintiff) might end up saying the wrong thing during a deposition. Then comes the court trial with its challenges, including:
- Cross examinations can be intensive and a witness can easily blunder;
- A key witness might fail to show up;
- A wrong ruling can have serious consequences;
- If the judge/jury doesn’t like you, you’re done.
Although you can appeal a seemingly unfair ruling, the appeal court may not reverse every decision made by a trial court. Also, an appeal means you’ll use more money and wait longer for the case to conclude.
In litigation, you might require the services of various experts depending on your case. For instance, an expert witness or medical professional can provide crucial evidence in an injury claim. Experts should be compensated because their time is extremely valuable. Litigation costs can add up to significant amounts when other expenses, such as traveling, stationery, and more.
Injury lawsuits are typically time-consuming, making litigation costly. Your lawyer will spend many hours investigating the facts of your case, prepping key witnesses, and representing you in court. With that in mind, settling an injury claim before trial can save money in legal fees for both the plaintiff and defendant.
Litigation can take longer, particularly in complex cases, such as brain injury claims–meaning a ruling can be made after a long time –sometimes after years as aforementioned. Even if you win the case, receiving compensation for your loss after a long time is simply not worth it. Additionally, you’ll have to keep waiting for the case to be resolved if you decide to appeal.
Settling a case before it goes to trial is sometimes necessary and the optimal solution for lawyers. Why? Most attorneys have many cases to handle and litigating all cases can impact their performance, considering the attention required for each case. Also, many law firms focus on volume to achieve profitability or break even. In other words, most lawyers/ law firms take on many cases hoping they will not take long to settle.
Ligation is done in courts that are open to the public, meaning anyone can follow proceedings. Having said that, litigation can compromise a person’s privacy if private information gets into the wrong hands. The reputation and prospects of a respectable individual, such as a CEO can be hurt if their case becomes public knowledge. In contrast, out-of-court settlements have privacy because only the plaintiff, defendant, and their respective insurance companies are involved.
Litigation can be stressful because it can interfere with your routine. For instance, a corporate employee might need to prepare for court sessions, gather crucial documents, or consult their legal advisors. Being away from work can negatively impact your job, particularly if your boss is not understanding, and it may be used against you.
Out-of-court settlements allow the defendant to meet their obligations without liability, unlike litigation. This is important when the defendant has a public image to maintain.
Many personal injury claims settle out-of-court or before trial to avoid the complexities associated with litigations. However, it’s important to consult a legal professional for the best outcome.