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Judge's Hammer

Unveiling What Percent of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial

Law Offices of Jeff Martin Aug. 31, 2023

Personal injury cases arise when individuals suffer harm or injury due to another party's negligence or intentional actions. While these legal actions often capture headlines and media attention, people ask, "What Percent of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?" The truth is that a mere fraction of these tort cases reach the trial stage.

As per information from the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 3% of personal injury lawsuits proceed to trial. This means most cases are settled outside of court or dismissed before trial.

The cases that progress to the litigation stage involve significant severity, often with substantial damages at stake and the participation of multiple parties. These may include commercial truck accidents, collisions involving motorcyclists or pedestrians, and accidents involving passenger vehicles, whether single or multiple-vehicle scenarios.

Why Do So Few Cases Go to Trial?

Several factors contribute to the low percentage of personal injury cases that reach trial. Understanding these reasons can explain why settlement and alternative dispute resolution methods are generally preferred over litigation.

1. Cost

Litigation can be an expensive undertaking for both plaintiffs and defendants. This financial strain includes expenses like obtaining legal counsel, covering the costs of court proceedings, and managing other expenditures that can swiftly add up.

2. Time

Personal injury trials can be lengthy and time-consuming affairs. The process involves many procedures, like discovery and scheduling court appearances.

Trials can last several weeks or months, and the court's docket availability can further delay the proceedings. This prolonged process can be emotionally and financially draining for individuals seeking compensation for their injuries. Settling the case allows for a quicker resolution, saving time and resources for both parties.

3. Risk

Trials are inherently unpredictable, making them risky for plaintiffs and defendants. If a judge decides your case, there's no assurance of a favorable outcome. It's possible that the judge could determine that the defendant is not responsible, resulting in no compensation for you. That's why parties often prefer to avoid this uncertainty and instead negotiate a settlement where they have more control over the outcome.

4. Emotional Burden

The litigation process can impose a significant emotional burden on parties involved in personal injury cases. Recounting traumatic events, attending court proceedings, and undergoing cross-examination can be distressing for plaintiffs. Settling the case offers a chance to avoid the emotional toll of courtroom battles and provides an opportunity for closure and moving forward.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured and are involved in a personal injury case, consult with the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeff Martin. We can help you navigate the legal process and explore the best course of action for your specific situation. Call our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, now!