You’ve been hurt in an accident and are working with a Suffolk County personal injury lawyer to get fair compensation. One of the first questions you probably have is, “Do personal injury cases go to trial?” The answer is, yes, your case could go to trial, but whether it does depends on your situation and how clear the facts of the case are.
When the facts of a personal injury lawsuit are fairly clear, it may be in the interests of the defendant to settle quickly, saving them the expenses of a trial. Or, if the defendant acted especially recklessly, they may wish to settle the case and negotiate for a non-disclosure agreement from you to prevent embarrassment from their misdeeds becoming part of public record, as would happen in a trial.
So, how many personal injury cases go to trial?
What percentage of personal injury cases go to trial?
It’s estimated that approximately 95% of personal injury cases are settled out of court and do not go to trial. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have to appear in court, though.
Personal injury cases can be settled at any point before the trial begins, so if the other party will not pay the fair and adequate compensation demanded by your Suffolk County personal injury lawyer, then your case proceeds to trial.
Nothing happens in a civil lawsuit (which is what your personal injury case is) without court proceedings. As such, you may need to appear in court with your attorney for hearings and other pre-trial proceedings. Your attorney may prefer to settle out of court and spare you the trauma of reliving the accident but will proceed, assuming your case will go to trial.
Most personal injury cases are settled in the demand phase
Many cases are settled during the demand phase when we will present an in-depth overview of the case to the at-fault party and their legal representation. This comprehensive summary includes the facts of the case, any pertinent case law, a record of losses and analysis of any potential future out-of-pocket losses, and an estimate of damages as well as supporting documents such as witness statements and medical bills.
What court deals with personal injury claims?
In New York, personal injury lawsuits are considered civil matters and so will usually be heard in the Supreme Civil Court. The purpose of a civil suit is to return you to the financial status you were in before the incident occurred. In Suffolk County, your case may be heard in one of these courts, depending on the specific matter at hand.
Some personal injury lawsuits may involve a defendant who committed illegal acts, such as a drunk driver who hit your car or a wrongful death situation. The defendant in your case may be going through a criminal trial for their actions as a defendant as well. If this is the situation in your case, then resolving the criminal case will likely have to take place before your civil matter.
The defendant’s criminal defense lawyer may advise them to remain silent regarding the civil matter. This can complicate a pending civil lawsuit, and in that case, the defendant may request a continuance of your case, which means that the trial date may be pushed back until the criminal matter is resolved.
Hurt in an incident that wasn’t your fault? Give us a call.
Do you need help pursuing full and fair compensation for your losses after an accident you didn’t cause? The legal team at Carner & DeVita can help build a case against the party that caused your accident and properly value your claim to demand maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses. Contact our firm today at (631) 543-7070 to schedule a free case review.