Why Do Some Personal Injury Cases End Up in Court?

judges chair with law books on table
judges chair with law books on table

There are two main ways a personal injury case may resolve. Most often the insurance company and the victim’s attorney will agree to a settlement out of court. Less commonly, a case will go to court and a jury will reach a verdict at the conclusion of the trial.

Injury victims may often not realize injury lawsuits are much less common than out-of-court settlements. As a result, many victims may have concerns about the possibility of the case going to trial. Learning more about the reasons why cases may go to court may help give insight as to why it is a rare occurrence.

Below, Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s  Cleveland personal injury lawyers review some of the common reasons why it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.

If you have questions about your injury claim, we are here to help you. We are ready to take your call to find out if you may have a valid case. Our firm is committed to the pursuit of maximum compensation on your behalf.

Why Do Most Personal Injury Cases Get Settled Outside the Courtroom?

There are many reasons why most personal injury cases never make it to court. For one, insurance companies would rather avoid the added expense of a courtroom and jury trial. If a case gets decided in the victim’s favor, the insurance company will have to pay court costs in addition to any compensation awarded.

Another factor to consider is the jury may award much more compensation than the insurance company wants to pay out. The insurance company may realize it can settle the claim for far less than what a jury might award.

However, settling out of court is also beneficial for the victims. You can recover compensation much more quickly through a settlement than a lawsuit. Another factor to consider is that you know you will be getting compensation if you settle. However, you do not know how a jury might rule in a court case – you might not receive any compensation at all.

Court costs and other legal fees, including costly fees for experts’ testimony, are taken out of your compensation award, so it is beneficial to victims to settle.

Why Are Some Personal Injury Cases More Likely to Settle?

Cases often settle when liability is clear and the victim has strong evidence to back up his or her claims. Cases are also more likely to settle when they do not have an exceptionally high value. The more a claim is worth, the harder it can be to settle. Insurance companies are committed to paying out as little compensation as possible. This gives them a strong incentive to avoid settling high-value claims.

Cases that do not involve much, if any, ongoing damages may be more likely to settle. It is much harder to dispute these types of cases as the value of ongoing damages is up for debate. This is why cases involving injuries that heal completely may be more likely to settle.

When is a Lawsuit More Likely?

The main reason why personal injury lawsuits are filed is that the victim’s attorney and the insurance adjuster cannot agree on a settlement. There are many reasons why it may be difficult to reach a settlement agreement, including:

  • Insurance company disputes fault for the crash
  • Both sides are far apart in the amount of compensation they will agree to
  • Insurer disputes the severity of the victim’s injuries
  • Insurance company and the victim’s attorney are confident they can get a favorable result at trial
  • Insurance company claims the victim is at fault for his or her injuries
  • Insurance company cannot agree on the value of ongoing damages
  • Insurance company has denied your claim

However, even if a lawsuit is filed, the case might not make it to trial. Often, both sides are required to go through mediation before a trial can begin. Sometimes mediation is successful and both sides reach a settlement. Often, the possibility of going to trial is enough to motivate the insurance company to agree to settle.

It is important to note that sometimes reaching an agreement on a settlement is about showing the insurance company you are serious about seeking full compensation. You may also improve your chances by hiring an experienced attorney who has taken cases to court and has a proven track record. This lets the insurance company know you are not willing to accept some lowball offer.

Can You Get More Compensation at Trial?

You might get more compensation awarded in a trial than you would in a settlement. The jury makes this decision and will not be concerned about insurance policy limits. However, it is important to understand that the outcome of a trial is unknown and cannot be guaranteed. In other words, you could get more compensation in a trial, but you may also get less or nothing at all.

The goal of filing an injury claim is to get the compensation you need for the damages you suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

An experienced attorney knows how to seek the compensation you need.  He will advise you as to what next steps need to be taken to achieve the highest compensation for your injuries.

Need Legal Help After an Injury Claim? Contact Us

We know you likely have a lot of questions about the next step following an unexpected injury. If you think the injury was caused by reckless behavior and could have been avoided, you may have a valid claim.

Friedman, Domiano and Smith’s attorneys have vast experience with personal injury claims and are prepared to handle each step. Our goal is to help you secure all the compensation you need. You can learn more about how we can help by calling us to schedule a free legal consultation.

Experienced Attorneys. No Upfront Fees. Call 216-621-0070.


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