Will My Personal Injury Claim Go To Court?

If you've recently been in any sort of accident in St. Louis, it's highly likely you're interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit and taking the party (or parties) who caused it to court in hopes of receiving some sort of compensation for your injuries. But the fact of the matter is that only a very small percentage of Missouri and Illinois personal injury cases ever see the inside of a courtroom--and that's because of a large number of reasons that vary case by case.

The experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Halvorsen Klote have taken all sorts of personal injury cases over the years and seen them go to trial, settlements, arbitration, and everything in between. There are many factors in play that influence personal injury cases, and today we hope to help you understand just how and why personal injury claims in St. Louis do--and don't--go to court.

Why Personal Injury Cases Get Settled

Studies have consistently shown that only a minimal number--usually around 5%--of personal injury cases in the United States go to trial. A personal injury settlement is a "win-win" for both the plaintiff and the insurance company in most situations. This is due to several factors, including:

  • Trials are often drawn-out, time-consuming, and, most importantly, expensive processes. Neither side wants to spend large amounts of money chasing a judgment, especially plaintiffs who do not have the monetary resources insurance companies possess.
  • While there is a chance that plaintiffs could get a large jury award, it remains just that: a chance. Settlements give personal injury victims guaranteed money in their pockets relatively quickly.
  • Between attorney fees, court costs, and other necessary expenses, a settlement could make better financial sense for a plaintiff than a court judgment.
  • American insurance firms are almost all publicly-traded companies who answer not to their customers but their shareholders. They want to avoid unforeseen expenses--especially massive court judgments.
  • Going to trial is frequently a large risk for a personal injury plaintiff. Insurance industries spend millions upon millions of dollars each year to convince people that they are "good neighbors" who are "on your side", plus they can afford some of America's best lawyers who can paint accident victims as greedy charlatans. Many personal injury cases that do go to trial, as a result, are decided in favor of the defendant.

Why Do Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial?

Even though, as we mentioned above, the overwhelming majority of personal injury cases are settled, there are a number of reasons why some cases end up going in front of a judge and jury. Insurance companies have been known to occasionally offer settlements that are much lower than what most plaintiffs would need to adequately cover all their expenses. In these cases, going to trial is often times an intelligent decision, since that low offer could help influence a judge or jury and bolster your claim against the insurance company.

We have also encountered cases where the attorneys for one or both sides are highly confident they can win in court. Maybe the plaintiff's story is one that tugs at a jury's heartstrings, or an insurance company is dead certain that the plaintiff is fabricating or exaggerating the outcome of their accident. It could also be that the insurance company is dragging its feet in offering a settlement. The act of making court filings and other motions is a sign that a plaintiff (and their attorney) means business and is a great way to grab a defendant's attention and Either way, there are a large number of reasons why a case may or may not go to trial--every one is unique.

Contact An Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Law Firm

No matter if your personal injury case goes to trial or is settled, having a dedicated and knowledgeable St. Louis personal injury attorney--like the ones at Halvorsen Klote--is a must if you are ever hurt as the result of an accident. Call us today at 877-51-HKLAW or contact us online to speak with a lawyer and discuss your personal injury case.