How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial in Texas?
If you are considering taking your Dallas personal injury case to court, it is important to understand the process and typical outcomes of these kinds of cases. While the concept of “going to trial” could either be exciting or scary, you should always talk to an attorney about your options. Taking your case to trial is sometimes the only way to seek the compensation you need. However, many lawsuits end before ever getting to a jury trial. The Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm explain some statistics about jury trials in the United States, and provide you with information to help you decide whether to take your case to trial. For a free consultation on your case, contact our Arlington TX personal injury lawyer today.
How Many Lawsuits Settle Before Trial?
The legal concept of “settlement” is complicated. There are many situations where “settlement” seems like giving up. Many settlements occur because the injured party (the plaintiff) does not have quite enough information to prove the responsible party (the defendant) was liable – but the defendant isn’t willing to risk that. Plaintiffs may accept a settlement rather than pressing the case at trial because it is a guaranteed win. However, this may mean forgoing damages they might be entitled to at trial. Alternatively, settlements may work out in the plaintiff’s favor if the defendant is so clearly at fault that they are willing to pay anything to make the case stop. This may ultimately save them the expense of trial, meaning they are willing to pay more for a settlement than trying to beat the case at trial.
Overall, in the United States, about 95% of civil lawsuits settle before trial. This includes personal injury cases, contract disputes, property cases, and other non-criminal cases. Of the cases that do go to trial, about 90% are ultimately decided in the plaintiff’s favor. This means that pre-trial settlements often help defendants avoid losing at trial by settling early. For many injury victims, going to trial comes with a 90% success rate.
Some research shows that settlement rates may actually be lower for civil cases, but car accident lawsuits in particular still reportedly settle in about 95.8% of all cases. Because traffic laws are so clear, and car insurance is so common, many of these cases are clearly one party’s fault, and insurance can fund any damages without the need to go to trial. However, for serious injury cases, proving your injuries and damages may be more complex, and require going to trial.
Should I Go to Trial or Settle for My Dallas Personal Injury Case?
The decision to settle or go to trial is ultimately your decision. Your attorney can guide you through the process and help you understand the consequences of either decision, but legal ethics rules put the final call in your hands. However, personal injury attorneys are often quite experienced in their fields, and have a good idea of what kinds of cases will succeed or fail at trial, and what kinds of damages may be available. Ultimately, deciding to settle or press the case in court comes down to which is the best decision to maximize compensation.
When you settle a personal injury case, you may be giving up options for high compensation. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can often receive three main categories of damages: medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Medical expenses can reimburse you for all medical costs that resulted from the injury. Lost wages can cover work you already missed, and work you will continue to miss in the future. Lastly, pain and suffering damages can directly compensate you for your injuries.
Insurance companies often cover medical expenses and lost wages, but may not pay well enough, if at all, for pain and suffering damages. Insurance companies are usually responsible for many of the defendant’s court decisions, especially in car accident injury cases and injuries on someone else’s property. This may mean that in any case that is settled, you may be missing pain and suffering damages. Since Texas law places no caps on these damages, they are often some of the highest areas of damages for a personal injury trial. Without going to court and getting damages awarded by a jury, you may miss out on these damages.
Dallas Personal Injury Litigation Attorneys
The Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm represent injury victims in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Houston areas. Our attorneys offer free consultations to help injury victims understand what damages they may be entitled to, the strength of their case, and the potential to settle or take their cases to trial. For your free consultation, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.