Will a Personal Injury Case Go to Trial or Result in a Settlement?

Anytime a person sustains an injury or illness caused by the negligent actions of another individual, company, or entity in the Pacific Northwest area, they may be able to recover compensation for their losses. There are generally two routes for recovering compensation after an injury occurs. The first route is through an insurance settlement, and the second route is through a personal injury trial. Here, we want to discuss whether a Portland personal injury case is more likely to reach a resolution through a settlement or a jury verdict.

Settlements Are More Common

When you file a personal injury claim, the first place the claim usually gets filed is with the insurance carriers involved. There are times when individuals will file an insurance claim and a civil personal injury lawsuit at the same time, but not always.

The vast majority of personal injury claims are resolved through settlements with an insurance carrier. However, that does not mean that this process is easy. Insurance carriers are looking out for their bottom line, their profit. That is why they are notorious for offering very low settlements. It is not uncommon for there to be major negotiations between a claimant and the insurance carrier for the at-fault party (or the legal teams involved).

If fault is relatively clear, a settlement could come through within a few weeks or a few months after the incident occurs. However, there are various factors that could extend the process, including disputes over fault or a dispute over the type of medical care or other damages involved in the claim.

If an insurance carrier or at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement amount or denies the claim altogether, the claimant will need to file a civil personal injury lawsuit.

Going to Trial

Even after a lawsuit gets filed in civil court, this does not necessarily mean that the personal injury victim will go right to court. In fact, getting to an actual personal injury trial can take quite some time, even multiple years, after the initial incident occurs.

After the lawsuit gets filed, the discovery process will begin. This is when attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant will exchange evidence and maybe even continue an investigation. There may be evidence that comes to light that gets one side or the other to move toward a settlement or a claim dismissal. There may be a time when mediation is ordered, which is non-binding, but this gives both sides an opportunity to try and reach a resolution before the trial becomes necessary.

Only if both parties are unable to reach an agreement will you, as the personal injury victim, need to go to trial.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been harmed due to the negligent actions of another individual, we strongly encourage you to contact an attorney for help with your claim moving forward. These cases are very challenging, and an attorney can help you understand whether or not you will have to go to trial in order to recover the compensation you need.