Denlea & Carton


April 04, 2024

How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial?

What to Know About Personal Injury Case Trials

If you have been injured by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit can help you obtain compensation for your accident-related losses. While in most cases, a favorable settlement can be negotiated prior to trial, there are some instances when the matter will have to be fully litigated.

At Denlea & Carton LLP, our lawyers are trial-tested. We are experienced litigators who are unafraid to take personal injury cases to trial to get our clients the results they deserve. We have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements. If you have been injured in an accident in Westchester County, NY, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. 

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury claims cover a wide range of different cases. You may have a personal injury claim any time another person’s wrongful conduct or negligent act or omission caused you harm. 

Common types of personal injury cases include:

  • Car accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Defective product cases

It is important to act quickly if you are injured in an accident, as you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim based on personal injury. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years, according to Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 214 (4). Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations may result in your case being dismissed.

Factors Influencing the Decision

It is important to remember that all personal injury lawsuits do not end up going to trial. Many can be settled favorably through pretrial negotiations. However, there are several factors that may make a case more likely to go to trial.

Factors that may influence whether a personal injury case goes to trial:

  • Injuries: If you have severe injuries or had a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated by the accident, it may be more likely that your case will need to go to trial to get the results you deserve. Insurance companies frequently try to downplay injuries in order to pay a lower settlement. If a fair and full settlement cannot be reached, you may have to proceed to trial to get a positive resolution.
  • Liability: If liability is disputed or unclear, you may have to take your personal injury case to trial. An insurance company may be unwilling to settle the claim for a fair amount if there is not concrete evidence that their insured was 100% responsible for the accident. A trial can help resolve questions of liability.
  • Complexity: Often, the more complex a case is, the more likely it will need to go to trial. Trials are usually required when an insurance company is unwilling to pay a fair amount. If the case is not straightforward, the insurance company may try a number of tactics to get you to settle for less than your case is worth.

These are only a few of the reasons why a case may go to trial. The most important thing to remember is that all cases should be prepared as though they are going to trial. If an insurance company or liable party does not believe that you or your attorney will litigate the case, they may be unwilling to negotiate. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to Trial

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to going to trial. Advantages include that you may receive a larger recovery and that the wrongful party may be held publicly accountable for what they have done. Disadvantages include that the case will take longer to resolve, and there are no guarantees that you will win the case.

Common Reasons for Going to Trial

There are several reasons that a case may settle or go to trial. Most cases settle prior to going to trial. A case may settle before trial because a favorable payout has been offered by the defendant or their insurer. Resolving the matter prior to trial also saves all parties substantial amounts of money.

A case may go to trial because:

  • The insurance company will not agree to a fair settlement.
  • The facts of the case are weak and need further development. 
  • The injuries are extensive and need to be supported by medical experts.
  • The damages are difficult to ascertain.

Working with an attorney who is prepared to take your case to trial is essential. While many attorneys claim to be trial lawyers, few actually are. An inexperienced legal team could negatively impact your case.

Basics of Settlements

There are several things that are important to consider before accepting a settlement offer in your personal injury case. First, early settlement offers from the insurance company rarely reflect the true value of your case. They generally do not include compensation for pain and suffering or other less tangible losses.

Next, before making any statements to the insurance company, you should always speak to an attorney. Insurance adjusters often try to t downplay injuries and attempt to deny claims. You should never make a statement without first consulting with an attorney. What you say or write could be used in your case after the fact.

Finally, settlement offers can be made and accepted at any time prior to a decision being reached by a judge or jury. Just because your attorney has started to prepare for trial does not mean that your case will not settle. 

The Importance of Proper Legal Representation

It is imperative in any personal injury case to secure proper legal representation. Without proper legal representation, you could end up settling your case for less than it is worth or for nothing at all. Find out more about how our experienced attorneys can help you.

Denlea & Carton LLP

At Denlea & Carton, we offer free, no-obligation consultations. Our lawyers know what is at stake and are here to help. We will work to maximize your damages and give you a clear reality about your strengths and weaknesses. Contact our office today to book your free case evaluation. 



James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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