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Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

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Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 90% of tort cases settle before trial. It is very unlikely, though not impossible, that your case will actually proceed to the trial stage. In most civil lawsuits, settling the case before trial is economically practical. Depending on the case, trials can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the chances of expending those resources compared with the relatively low cost of settling often make settlement the better option for both plaintiff and defendant. 

Settlement

In most instances, the case will settle through negotiations between the parties’ attorneys. This is where having a skilled negotiator on your side is crucial. Having an attorney with experience in personal injury cases gives you credibility and experience before the negotiation gets started. Alternatively, your case may go to arbitration. While neither is required in the state of Illinois, a thorough evaluation of the facts will help an attorney understand which path is right for you. Typically cases will progress from mediation or negotiation to arbitration when there is an impasse between the parties. 

Trial

Often it’s the case that an attorney will file a lawsuit to get the process started. This doesn’t mean the case must go all the way to a jury trial – it’s simply the start of a case. At this stage, initial pleadings are filed, and the defendant in the case will have an opportunity to respond to the pleadings and either stipulate or deny the claims in the filings. However, anytime during the process, the parties may enter into settlement negotiations. Cases settle at varying stages of the negotiations depending upon the evidence presented. Attorneys for both sides continually consider the evidence presented and judge the chance of trial success. This risk calculation will largely determine what the settlement is in the likely event a case settles. 

If the case does not settle, it may be in process for months or even years. The trial process is often long and drawn out. If the plaintiff wins the case, the next step is to collect the money after judgment is rendered. This can be a chore and is often subject to an appeals process that can extend the case even further. It is best to avoid the process of a jury trial if at all possible. Most attorneys understand this, which is why most cases are settled before trial. However, negotiations may continue, and the settlement may not occur until weeks or days before the trial begins. 

Contact an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Attorney

The best thing you can do if you’ve been injured is to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. As time passes, vital evidence can be lost, and people’s recollection of the issues will fade. At SAM Law Office, LLC, we aggressively fight for our clients. With extensive experience in many facets of personal injury law in Illinois, you can be sure you have the right attorneys representing your interests. Please contact us today for a case evaluation and let our legal team get started working for you today!

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