Why Do So Many NYC Car Accident Cases Settle Before Trial?

It’s no secret that many people are injured throughout the year in car accidents, but what most people might not know is that the “lion’s share” of cases settle before trial. Most of us have seen the glamorous television shows where trials take place, but the reality is that trials are the exception, not the rule. So with all the glitz and excitement of trials, why are they the rarity in NYC car accident cases?

Trials are risky for both parties

When an NYC car accident lawsuit is settled out of court, it is often said that both sides walk away from a little unhappy because settlements, by definition, are compromises and each side feels as if they may have fared a little better at trial. But since roughly ninety-five percent (95%) of car crash lawsuits are settled pre-trial, there must be a reason why right? Well, yes, there is a reason.

Juries are Unpredictable

What you may or may not know, is that in very high profile litigation where the stakes are exceptionally high, lawyers often hire jury consultants who are experts on human behavior and often have an advanced degree in psychology, sociology, human behavioral science or other social sciences. These experts will dig into the potential juror’s backgrounds, creating juror profiles and assisting with jury selection. They do not come cheap, however. So the reality is that in the average car accident case, given the necessary expense associated with doctors that must be paid for their testimony at trial, whose fees typically range from $7,500.00 – $15,000.00, jury consultants are not often employed in the average auto accident case. Many lawyers say that leaving the decision of a case up to a jury is akin to gambling at a casino or “rolling the dice.”

Why Settle Your NYC Car Accident Case Before Trial?

Plain and simple, both the plaintiff and defendant have control over the result and when negotiated at arms-length between experienced counsel, pre-trial settlements reduce the risks of trial and provide finality for all parties.

Your Case Goes to Trial

So if you take your personal injury case all the way to trial, there are a few possible results:

  • The jury decides against you and you get nothing;
  • The jury decides in your favor and both sides agree that the jury’s verdict was fair and reasonable;
  • The jury decides in your favor and awards an amount that the defendant believes is outlandish.

If the jury returns a verdict that the defendant believes is excessive, they have the ability to appeal. Whether or not the defendant will be successful in their appeal is one question, but the fact of the matter is that the appeal will necessarily delay your receipt of compensation which you may necessarily need sooner than later.

If you are involved in an NYC car accident, consult with an experienced NYC car accident lawyer who you are comfortable with. Michael Redenburg has handled hundreds of car accident cases and has settled the majority pre-trial, but has also tried cases to jury verdict in state and federal courthouses throughout New York City.