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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

What Percentage of Cases Settle Before Trial?

The prospect of going to trial is filled with much uncertainty. This is particularly true if the citizens involved are having a dispute settled in court for the first time. The attorney hired is typically the comfortable one, assuming you have chosen to hire someone with substantial experience.

The tensions build even higher, should the case feature many nuances and complexities. Trials do exist that are somewhat predictable because of the nature of the problem. However, this is very unlikely, which translates to a feeling of unease.

A strong attorney is meant to represent you in court while providing you the level of reassurance you need to remain logical as the case runs its courts.

Based on the most recent information available, somewhere between 90% and 95% of lawsuits and up concluding with a pretrial settlement. The value that allows a consensus to be reached is often equal to that of the lawsuit.

As you would expect, the defendant is typically the one offering a settlement to the plaintiff. Zeroing in on personal injury cases, only one in five or 20% of these go through the entire court process to resolution.

The Role of Your Attorney

The Role of Your Attorney

You may be surprised to know that this forms the basis for a key preparation area that your car accident attorneys may focus on. It's not all about gathering evidence and information to present to the court along with a strong legal precedent. Preparing for the possibility of a pretrial settlement is also crucial.

Your attorney's job is not to ensure that you win your court case. This only becomes necessary if the trial runs to its conclusion. Instead, your attorney is concerned with ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

That means a targeted focus is placed on the possibility of a pretrial offer. This goes beyond coming to a consensus with you on what would be acceptable. Instead, a good attorney may spend most of the preparation time trying to build a case that is compelling enough to push the defendant towards a settlement.

Settlement in Lieu of Defense

On the flip side, should you be a defendant, your attorney may suggest a settlement with the insurance company if this is seen to be your best possible outcome. When a defendant loses a court case, there is a financial penalty, but there may also be a reputation compromise depending on the ruling handed down and the nature of the case.

Note that you don't need to feel as if the decision is being taken out of your hands. Your legal professional represents you, but the person does not make decisions for you. So, while you may get sound recommendations, depending on which side of the fence you fall on, the choice is yours to either make or accept a settlement.

It's a good idea to indicate your interest in this kind of resolution to your attorney early on if it is satisfying to you. Of course, even if you don't, a good legal professional is likely to gauge how you feel about the matter.

The number of settlements corresponds to the statistics of case resolutions. You find that over 90% of tried cases end in victory for the plaintiff. It is not hard to see why pretrial settlements are often the best option for defendants.

When to Settle

Settlements don't only occur before a case begins. Sometimes, the progression of the matter before the court determines how feasible it may be to seek out such an alternative dispute resolution method, so don’t think you have to accept the first offer.

Attorneys know that timing is crucial for the best outcome. Whether it's a lull in a case or an incriminating revelation, certain happenstances present the best resolution opportunities.

Even jury selection can play a part. Observation is a key factor in legal practice. Sometimes it's a matter of assessing the damages correctly. If a settlement is presented too early, it often discounts the possibilities when there is still much unknown information.

An experienced attorney who can navigate the trial well often sees progressively better settlement offers being made.

Retain a Professional

Many conflicting requirements and variables guide each unique situation. Legal professionals must be able to pull on previous knowledge while acting based on the circumstances present. Tom Fowler Law offers that kind of legal approach. Reach out today for a consultation to understand where you stand and what your options are.


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