The Reality — Most Personal Injury Claims Never Go to Trial
Even though your lawyer will prepare your personal injury case with the expectation that it will go to trial, the likelihood is that it will be settled before opening arguments are made. Statistics show that only about one in 20 personal injury cases actually goes before a judge and jury.
So why such a high settlement rate? The predominant reason, according to attorneys and legal experts, is the risk involved. Studies show that nine out of 10 personal injury cases that go to trial end up in a verdict for the defendant, so there’s a clear incentive for plaintiff’s counsel to seek some kind of settlement so the client gets some compensation. Additionally, because plaintiff’s attorneys universally represent personal injury victims on a contingency basis, if they lose at trial they don’t get paid either.
In addition to the risk of failing to recover damages, there’s also the ongoing expense incurred by plaintiff’s counsel. Personal injury attorneys typically advance most or all of the costs of litigation, and then take reimbursement of those costs out of a verdict or settlement. These expenses can mount up quickly, with costs for investigators, expert witnesses, depositions and production of documents.
Of course, there are risks for defense attorneys as well. In most personal injury cases, the defense attorneys represent insurance companies and have a duty to defend under a policy sold to the actual negligent party. Even though the likelihood of a verdict against a defendant is only one in 10, the potential damage award can be substantial.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper, P.C.
We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.