“I’ll see you in court!”
While this proclamation makes for good television and literary drama, only about two percent of personal injury cases actually go to trial, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. The other 98 percent are settled before trial.
Settlement can result in a full, fair compensation award in less time and with less expense and stress than a courtroom trial. But the settlement process doesn’t always work. Here are some of the main reasons a personal injury claim might go to trial:
The Defendants Won’t Budge
By the time a case goes to trial, the parties in the case have likely attempted to reach a settlement several times. They may have even tried forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation – a common procedure that many trial courts require before they will agree to put a case on the trial calendar. When all else fails, trial may be the only option left.
There’s a New Legal Issue at Play
Occasionally, a personal injury claim will pose a type of legal question that simply hasn’t been answered before. In this situation, it may be unclear how to proceed. The evaluation of a judge may be necessary in order to clear up an unaddressed point of law. While this type of case is extremely rare, when it does happen, a trial is often the best way to address the legal question.
One or More Facts are Genuinely in Dispute
Most personal injury cases settle in part because the facts are straightforward: The evidence clearly points to fault by one or more parties, the medical costs and other losses are easy to calculate, the parties can agree on what full and fair compensation looks like, and the law is well established.
Not all cases are so straightforward, however. In some situations, the law might be clear but the facts might be unclear, spotty, or open to interpretation. If a settlement can’t be reached on these grounds, a jury or judge might be needed to examine the evidence and make a call about the facts.
If you’ve been injured, an experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation you need, whether that means settling your case or going to trial. Contact the top-rated trial attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi today at 866.523.3121 or via our online contact form to learn more.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.