Legally reviewed by:
Setareh Law
December 8, 2023

When you file a personal injury claim, you will either settle or go to trial. If the defendant’s insurance company fails to meet the standards outlined in your settlement, there’s a strong chance your case will go to court. Conversely, if all settlement requirements are met, you won’t go to trial. For most people, going to court is unfavorable in comparison to reaching a settlement. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine the best course of action for your case. If you are filing a personal injury claim, here are some things to know about settlements and court trials. 

Personal Injury Claims and the Likelihood of Going to Trial

Approximately five out of every 100 personal injury cases go to trial. In most cases, the defendant chooses to settle. Going to court requires a time-intensive preparation process, and then once the trial begins, it can last for months.  

If you choose to pursue a legal trial, your personal injury lawyer will spend time identifying witnesses and gathering evidence. Once they have enough statements, documents, and evidence from your accident, they will determine the best course of action for your claim. Most commonly, your lawyer will negotiate with the defendant or their insurance company in attempts to settle on a dollar amount. If the defendant agrees to pay the settlement, the lawsuit is dropped. If negotiation or mediation fails, the case will go to trial. 

The Pros and Cons of Going to Trial

There are pros and cons to any trial. If you are filing a personal injury claim, you need to consider the potential outcomes of pursuing a trial. If you go to trial, the outcome might not be as desirable as the settlement amount. Additionally, if you reach a settlement, you will get your money much faster than you would with a trial. 

One of the biggest cons of going to trial is the time it can take to reach a verdict.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average personal injury case lasts for 14 months. If you’re lucky, your case might last a couple of days. However, most personal injury cases last for months or in some cases, years. The timeliness of your personal injury case is contingent on the schedule of your judge. Many personal injury cases get postponed because the judge has more pressing cases that need their attention. 

Another consideration of going to trial is the outcome. In their report, the Bureau of Justice found that only 50 percent of cases ended up in the plaintiff’s favor. For people looking to get compensation from their injuries, these are alarming odds. With only a 50 percent chance of getting a better compensation package than your settlement, it’s better to compromise in the settlement negotiations and walk away with a smaller package than with nothing. 

What You Need to Know if You Go to Trial

You might want to go to trial, and that’s understandable. If you do choose to go to trial, it is important to have a substantial amount of supporting evidence in your favor. The evidence needed to establish a successful personal injury claim is case-specific. It is always best to consult with a lawyer to gather the necessary evidence to succeed in court. 

Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

Consulting with a skilled personal injury lawyer is the best way to navigate the specifics surrounding your individual personal injury claim. At Setareh Law, our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing personal injury claims in California. We understand the difficulties of deciding to go to trial or settle and are here to help you choose the path that will be best for your situation. To schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys, complete an online contact form or call today at (310) 659-1826.