How Often Do Personal Injury Claims Go to Court?
The percentage of personal injury claims that go to court is around 5 percent. This is because sometimes the injury is not that serious and sometimes people prefer settling outside the court. They are reluctant to take their case to the court because of the fear of the jury. However, personal injury cases are heard by a judge and not a jury.
The 5 percent that reaches there are those where both parties are unable to settle their case. Or the case is quite complex. Usually, the claim is to get mental and medical compensation in personal injury cases. But because of lack of knowledge among the general public, these cases become an issue.
So if you have gone through such a situation and you want to get more information on similar cases, contact Powers & Santola, LLP. You can get yourself a lawyer from this platform or get advice if you want. Their lawyers cover a wide range of cases including hospital-related malpractices and injuries and issues with products and services. Moreover, if there is some serious injury related to buildings and construction sites or any sort of road accident. They cover it all.
Reasons for mutual settling of cases outside the court
Usually, people avoid going to court and prefer settling the cases with mutual understanding. This is done by both parties, the victim and the offender. Offenders do so to prevent high costs or to protect their time. However, if the victim asks for too much compensation or seems like a fraud, the offenders take the case to court. Especially when they are unable to pay the compensation.
Victims settle the case outside because they think that the judge or the jury will ask multiple questions. This might prolong the case and they will not get enough compensation or become a fraud in the end.
1. Risk assessment process
However, there are some other reasons because of which your claim might not end up in the courtroom. These include;
- Your injury is longer than 3 years i.e. you were injured 3 years ago and now you are claiming. The maximum time is 3 years, not more than that. However, children are the exception, their claiming time is more than that.
- There is a third party involved in the incident.
- If the defendant does not owe you a duty of care.
These three factors are considered while doing the risk assessment. So if your case has these points, it is highly likely that it will be rejected.
2. Cost of the hearing and uncertainty
You are taking the time of the courtroom, judge, and all the other staff members. Furthermore, you need a lawyer to proceed with your case. So when you hire a lawyer or you are going through the insurance company, they will cost you. Usually, the victim contacts his insurance company and they deal with the case. But if you do not have any insurance, you have to hire a lawyer.
Likewise, the defendant also hires his lawyer to deal with court matters. Because usually, people are not well aware of the legal processes and regulations. So they need a professional for that. This process costs both parties.
Moreover, the win is also not assured. There is always an uncertainty factor. Therefore, instead of spending their amount on lawyers and case proceedings, they prefer to deal outside the courtroom.
3. Insurance companies prefer this
If you have insurance on such matters, you will talk to them. However, they have a policy that if you do not win the case, they won’t charge you any fee. Therefore, when there is a high possibility of not getting enough compensation. Or the insurance company thinks that going to the courtroom won’t bring any benefit, they avoid it.
Thus, sometimes it is the insurance companies that prevent their clients from taking their case to court. Furthermore, the “no win, no fee” is the proper clause of their insurance agreement. That is why they cannot go back on their words.
The cases that go to the courtroom
However, some cases go to court. Usually, they are complex and involve serious injuries. But sometimes, the victim rejects any outside settlement. So here are some of the reasons.
1. Complex and serious injury cases
Some cases are too complicated and do not directly involve a single party. Such complex cases are hard to deal with. Therefore, most of the 5 percent of cases that go to court are these complex ones. The injuries include;
- Industrial diseases or other work-related injuries
- Road injuries and claims
- Medical malpractice and negligence
- Spinal, head or back injury
- Fatal accidents
- Accidents where children get involved
Workplace injuries often end up in courtrooms because companies try to provide a minimum compensation. However, workers suffer from serious consequences like getting cancer from working around certain chemicals. If this happens because of the negligence of the company in providing personal protective equipment, the victim will win.
Similarly, medical malpractices often involve the name of a hospital and various staff members. Therefore, the hospital tries its best to avoid getting involved. So they do not tell the patient’s family about the accident. However, if someone comes to know about it, they take the matter to court.
2. Unresponsive insurer
If you have an insurance policy and the insurer becomes unresponsive towards the case, you can file a case. Likewise, if the defendant has agreed to pay the settlement fee but is now avoiding you, you still have a chance. So people tend to file the case for such situations. Moreover, you have the time of 3 years to report it.
3. Defendant’s denial
Some people do not like to admit their mistakes. Therefore, they will try their best to blame the victim. Thus, if the victim has proof of his innocence or is smart enough, he will take the case to the courtroom to get proper compensation.