ClickCease Why Only Some Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial

Get A Free Case Evaluation

Why Some Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial and Others Don’t

Seth Harris

Last modified on January 9, 2023

Personal Injury Case LawyerMany people have preconceptions about how personal injury cases work. Popular media can lead you to believe that injured individuals immediately sue the at-fault party, leading to a dramatic and protracted courtroom battle. This idea can feel intimidating for those who are simply looking for fair compensation for the losses they have sustained in an accident. As such, they may decide against hiring a lawyer and choose instead to file a claim on their own.

However, employing the services of an experienced attorney is useful for more than cases that are going to trial. All personal injury lawyers know that very few cases end up in court. Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side can help you to receive a favorable outcome of your insurance claim quickly and efficiently. Understanding how personal injury cases work and why they usually do not go to trial can help you feel prepared for the process that lies ahead.

What Is a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law deals with cases in which a person suffers an injury due to the negligent actions of another party. The types of personal injury cases we handle include:

After an initial consultation, your lawyer will investigate the accident to determine how it happened and who was at fault.

If the accident involved a motor vehicle, you must pursue compensation through your personal injury protection policy first. If your injuries meet the significant injury threshold, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

At that point in your motor vehicle accident case, or in any other type of personal injury case, your lawyer will file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. After your medical treatment is completed, your attorney will send the insurance company a demand letter to open settlement negotiations.

The compensation you receive can cover accident-related losses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages from time you missed at work
  • Property damage
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

How Are Most Personal Injury Cases Resolved?

Most personal injury cases resolve in one of the following ways:

  • Negotiated settlement – In this type of resolution, your attorney and the at-fault party’s insurance company negotiate a compensation package for you. Once you reach a settlement that you find acceptable, you will relinquish your right to pursue further legal action against the other party.
  • Mediation – Negotiations are not always successful. If the two parties reach an impasse, they may enlist the services of a neutral mediator. This person is often a retired judge or a third-party attorney whose task is to help the opposing sides reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • Arbitration – Like mediation, arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Yet while mediation involves informal discussions, arbitration requires the formal testimony of both parties and could result in a binding decision.

If none of these out-of-court options results in an agreement between the two parties, the case can proceed to trial.

What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?

The numbers may fluctuate over time, but the vast majority of cases never reach the trial stage. Many estimates indicate that fewer than five percent of personal injury cases make it to court. Having an experienced injury attorney, like the lawyers of [firm-name], on your side can improve your chances of resolving your claim before it goes to trial.

What Is a Trial Lawyer?

Personal Injury CaseA trial lawyer is an attorney with the skill and experience necessary to fight for your best interests in a court of law. Many personal injury lawyers are not trial lawyers. Because of that, they will only accept your case if they are certain it will end in a settlement. The attorneys at [firm-name] have experience winning verdicts in the courtroom as well as negotiating settlements with insurers. When an insurance adjuster knows that your attorney has a history of success in court, they will be far more likely to take your claim seriously.

Contact Us For a Free Case Consultation

If you suffered injuries in an accident in New York, the experienced personal injury lawyers at [firm-name] could fight for your rights and help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We have experienced trial lawyers and have secured over $500 million in awards and settlements for our past clients.

Call us today at 800-PAIN-LAW or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights.

Related posts

How to prepare for your deposition

How to know if your depositi0n went well

Punitive damages in a personal injury case

Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.

VERDICT

$17,500,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.

VERDICT

$4,730,398

Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).

VERDICT

$12,561,772

A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.

VERDICT

$10,500,000

A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.

VERDICT

$3,470,670

The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.

VERDICT

$4,000,000

The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.

VERDICT

$3,823,000

Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.

VERDICT

$2,750,000

The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.

VERDICT

$1,677,835

The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.

VERDICT

$2,995,000

The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.

VERDICT

$2,610,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.

VERDICT

$2,253,714

A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.

VERDICT

$1,900,000

A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.

VERDICT

$1,350,000

A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

What Our Clients Say About Us

LV LVLV LV
00:47 22 Jun 24
I contacted Burns and Harris, this company which is renamed now, about two years ago about my injury. I even had an in person meeting with Stephen LaRocca.I had to chase him for a year just to sign something, in the end I just gave up. Pretty appalling company and even worse than people have written. I can only imagine the people who haven’t taken the time to write your review. Don’t bother with them.
Cole ColdwaterCole Coldwater
19:36 20 Jun 24
My experience with Harris Keenan and Goldfarb was wonderful. My legal representative, Steven LaRocca with Samantha Walton always made me feel well defended and cared for, in a way that went beyond professional representation and into the realm of caring about me on a personal level. Steven, Samantha and Seth Harris got me a great outcome and I can’t thank them enough!
Elizabeth SantosElizabeth Santos
00:32 20 Jun 24
If I could give them a zero Star I would 0
Jennifer RosarioJennifer Rosario
14:16 05 Jun 24
The best law firm I have ever went with thank you so much
Angelo Del GuercioAngelo Del Guercio
20:03 11 May 24
Horrible people. I lost complete confidence in this firm. Attorneys dragged their feet for 4 years and my mom died before a settlement could be reached. I advised them several times that my mom was sick to put fire under their feet but the effort was to no avail.
david Santiagodavid Santiago
18:05 21 Mar 24
Maria RoqueMaria Roque
20:49 15 Mar 24
Excellent person, very Professional, they assist you in any language, your call is always answered. I recommend you for any case of support you have, your refund is satisfactory. and fast
S SS S
14:09 02 Mar 24
I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
Robert LennonRobert Lennon
15:26 21 Feb 24
Patient and diligence is how I describe the effort of HKG the work was thorough, honest and fair, I have no complaints. Special thanks to attorney Blake and his paralegal Thierry.
Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
18:48 15 Jan 24
I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
js_loader
Read More Client Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that prospective clients have about personal injury claims include:

  • Do I need an attorney?

    When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

  • How do I know I have a case?

  • When should I contact an attorney?

  • How do I determine which one to choose?

  • Once I hire an attorney, what should I expect?

  • Recent News

    Find out how to move forward after an unexpected event with our short, helpful articles. We share simple advice that can make a big difference in tough times.

    Contact Us

    Get A Free Case Evaluation Today