Recently, we wrote an article about whether your car accident case has to go to trial. After we wrote that article, I read a blog post by Christopher Small out of Seattle answering the question as to ‘why most car accident lawsuits settle before trial’, click here to read his article.
Chris gives four main reasons why most car accidents cases settle before trial:
1. The system is set up to avoid jury trials…
Our Court Systems would not function properly if we had to try every single dispute that came across my desk. At the beginning of every case we try to negotiate with insurance companies to pay you the money that you deserve. We will provide the insurance company medical records, billing records and properly describe how the accident occurred and why they should pay you money for your car accident. If you’d like to read more about the money you are owed after an accident read here:
2. If One Side Has a Clear Advantage
Chris is right, if one side has a clear advantage the other side is likely going to settle. We try to push and get the most compensation possible for our clients and so we will likely go to trial a bit more than most lawyers. However, if someone is drunk driving, speeding excessively, not obeying traffic laws, texting and driving or there is clear liability, they do not want to be in front of a jury. The jury could punish them.
3. One Side Doesn’t Have a Clear Advantage
Christ talks about how lawyers are risk adverse and they won’t take a case to trial if there isn’t a clear advantage. I would agree and disagree with his assessment. Most lawyers are risk adverse. We represent out clients on contingency and we do not want to lose. However, I take pride in taking very difficult cases. I take cases that other lawyers turn down, and have made my clients a lot of money in doing that. Recently, we saved a client 2 million dollars after a 2-day arbitration—this case was turned down by 13 lawyers. We also just settled a case for 150,000 dollars after only being our client for 60 days—this case was settled after being with another lawyer for 2 years.
4. Juries are Crazy
I actually don’t believe juries are crazy. However, insurance companies believe that juries are sometimes unpredictable. We have all heard about run-away juries. Insurance companies will sometimes settle a claim because they are scared that a jury might punish them.
5. Most Attorney are Scared to Go to Trial
I agree. Most lawyers are scared to go to trial. It takes a lot of work for a lawyer to go to trial. There are depositions that need to be taken, trial preparation, days off to actually try the case, experts need to be hired and its stressful. However, we are different, we love trial. There are some lawyers that hate being in front of a jury, we love the adrenaline rush and love representing our clients.
6. Most Clients Don’t Want to Go to Trial
I will add one point that Chris did not touch on; most clients don’t want to go to trial. We had a 12-hour mediation, arguing over several thousand dollars and our client insisted that we settle the case because she didn’t want to actually go to trial.
I think that most cases can be resolved before trial but we tell all our clients that sometimes we must go to trial because it keeps the insurance companies honest. Far to often we see lowball offers and we have to pressure the insurance company by preparing for trial.
If you have any questions about a Missouri car accident case, we can help you. We have helped hundreds of clients who have been in very serious car accident cases. We know how to work insurance companies and how to present your case to a jury. If you would like a free consultation, call us at 816-200-2900.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.