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Do personal injury claims usually settle before a lawsuit is filed?

Yes! Most people settle their personal injury cases before trial.

You can’t always predict your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit. The results of a personal injury trial are largely left up to the judge or jury. That’s why many personal injury lawsuits end in a settlement before they get to trial, especially when they involve insurance companies.

A settlement is usually in your best interest, too. Swanson Lathen Prestwich, P.C. can help you estimate how much your case might be worth and if it will likely settle.

What is my case worth?

Swanson Lathen Prestwich, P.C. can help you calculate how much you should seek in damages.

The Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

  1. Consult a personal injury attorney. Swanson Lathen Prestwich, P.C. can walk you through the claim process.
  2. Your attorney will help you compile a list of everything the injury has cost you, including wages lost from missing work, medical expenses, and your mental and physical suffering. Collectively, these are called damages. 
  3. Your attorney then submits a demand letter on your behalf listing the damages you seek.
  4. The defendant, their attorney, or their insurance company reviews the demand letter and either accepts your terms or makes you a counteroffer.
  5. Your attorney and the defense representation will negotiate terms. This can include several rounds of counter-offers and hearings to iron out the details.
  6. You reach a settlement with the defendant or the case proceeds to trial. 

Swanson Lathen Prestwich, P.C. are experienced in reaching settlements with corporations and insurance companies. They will represent you and your best interests while guiding you through the whole process.

Possible Resolutions to Your Personal Injury Claim

What Happens in a Personal Injury Settlement?

A settlement simply means you and the defendant agree on terms. While most settlements happen before trial, you can also settle during a trial.

A pretrial settlement saves you time and money. It also gives you and your attorney the choice to accept or deny your terms instead of getting stuck with the outcome of a trial.

Settlements carry a potential risk because they are final. Once you accept a settlement agreement, you must sign a full liability release. That means you can’t seek any further damages from the defendant for the incident in question, even if it causes additional injuries or health problems in the future.

Common Reasons for Pretrial Settlement

  • The defendant wants to keep the incident confidential.
  • The defendant’s attorney believes you could win at trial.
  • The defendant’s insurance company makes you an offer you find fair.
  • The settlement will cost the defendant less than a trial.

Personal Injury Settlement FAQ

How can I settle a personal injury case?

First, hire an experienced Oregon personal injury lawyer to represent you. They can help you understand the specifics of your case and help you file your claim. Then, accept the offer you and your attorney deem as fair. Defendants settle more often when the damages would cost them less than a trial.

Do most personal injury cases settle out of court?

Yes! About 95 percent of personal injury cases settle before trial.

How do personal injury settlements work?

The injured party, also called the plaintiff, hires an attorney to file a demand letter requesting payment for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain suffered. The party allegedly responsible, also called the defendant, can agree to pay the damages or make a counteroffer.

Aided by their lawyers, negotiations continue until the parties reach a settlement. As part of the agreement, the plaintiff will sign a full liability release which means they can’t pursue the defendant for any more damages stemming from the incident in question. If the parties can’t settle, the case goes to trial. At trial, a judge or jury will decide if the defendant is responsible for any damages and the amount of money awarded to the plaintiff.

Do insurance companies want to settle out of court?

Insurance companies want to settle out of court in most personal injury cases. Settling usually costs less than a trial. In some rare cases, an insurance company may hesitate to settle if they think paying without a fight will invite more lawsuits.

What Happens in a Personal Injury Trial?

Going to court for a car accident settlement, or any other injury case, means presenting your case before a judge or jury who decides if you receive any damages. You could receive more money if you win at trial. However, going to trial can take years, cost thousands, and still give you nothing if you lose.

Common Reasons for Going to Court for A Personal Injury Claim

  • The plaintiff wants accountability for the good of the public.
  • The defendant’s attorney believes they can beat you at trial.
  • The defendant’s insurance company finds your demands unfair.
  • The defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want a precedent of settlements with the type of incident in question.

Personal Injury Trial FAQ

How often do car insurance claims go to court?

Only about five percent of personal injury cases go to trial. Most claims settle out of court.

Is it better to settle or go to trial?

The best outcome depends on what you want out of the case. A trial may net you more money, but it takes time and costs money. If you win, you only receive whatever the judge or jury decides you deserve. You get no say.

Do most personal injury cases settle?

Yes. About 95 percent of personal injury claims settle before trial.

Do personal injury claims go to court?

Personal injury claims can go to court if the parties involved can’t reach a settlement agreement. However, nearly all personal injury cases settle before trial.

What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?

Just about five percent of personal injury claims go all the way to trial. Most settle before going to court.

Navigate Your Lawsuit with an Experienced Oregon Personal Injury Law Firm

The team at The Personal Injury Law Firm of Swanson Lathen Prestwich, P.C. specializes in personal injury claims in Salem. We‘ll fight to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.