How Many Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
Each year in the United States, a staggering number of personal injury claims are filed by individuals who have suffered injuries caused by the carelessness of a third party. How many of those personal injury cases go to trial? Only a small number — the vast majority are settled outside of court. However, a good amount of cases settle only after a lawsuit is filed and the case is aggressively litigated and several depositions are taken. Having a good personal injury lawyer sometimes means you are less likely to go to trial because the attorney is able to demonstrate the case has value through the litigation process and the insurance companies then settle. Below, the Chicago-based personal injury lawyers from Rubens & Mulholland provide more information on the subject, as well as some insight on how a case can be settled before going to trial.
What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
According to the most recently available numbers from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the percentage of personal injury cases that go to trial in the U.S. is 4% to 5%, meaning that 95% to 96% of cases are settled pre-trial.
Do Most Personal Injury Cases Settle at Mediation/Arbitration?
Illinois does not require a personal injury case to go to mediation to reach a settlement, but some individuals will voluntarily take their case to a mediator. Often, this is because the parties involved in the case have hit a stalemate in the settlement negotiations. We’ll talk more about what happens during mediation in the next section. In Illinois, cases with a smaller value are required to go through mandatory arbitration. Either side can reject the arbitration award but often times both sides accept the award or negotiate a settlement once the award Is made.
How Can a Personal Injury Case Settle Before Going to Trial?
A personal injury case can reach a settlement before going to trial by:
- Negotiated Settlement: Your lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s attorney or insurance company until a fair settlement is reached. Through the settlement, you agree to accept the agreed-upon sum of money in exchange for giving up your right to pursue any further legal action regarding the accident.
- Mediation/Arbitration: If the settlement negotiations reach an impasse, both parties may agree to meet with a neutral mediator who is trained to help the dispute reach a mutually agreeable solution, based on information that is typically gathered from three conversations:
- Both parties will get to speak with the mediator while in the presence of the other party
- The parties can address each other directly with the mediator overseeing the exchange
- Each party will get to speak with the mediator alone
- The difference between a mediation and an arbitration is that an arbitration is more like a trial in that the parties’ testify before the arbitrator, whereas in a mediation it is more of an informal discussion. Mediations or Arbitrations can be either binding or non-binding. Rubens & Mulholland has extensive experience in binding and non-binding personal injury mediations and arbitrations. Several of our attorneys serve as arbitrators, so your attorney will have experience from different perspectives, which will help her/him to make the arguments that maximize the value of your case.
Consult Rubens & Mulholland for Experienced Representation
If you have been injured in Illinois and are seeking the experienced representation of a personal injury lawyer, contact Rubens & Mulholland for a free consultation today. Our Chicago practice boasts an extensive record of successful personal injury settlements and verdicts. No matter how complex your case may be, you can rest assured our attorneys will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.