The Risks and Rewards of Taking a Personal Injury Claim to Trial

Deciding whether to settle a personal injury claim out of court or proceed to trial is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of various factors. While the allure of a larger jury award might be tempting, the uncertainties and complexities of a trial also present considerable risks. This article explores the potential risks and rewards associated with taking a personal injury claim to trial, helping claimants make informed decisions based on their individual circumstances. The focus key phrase for SEO optimization is “personal injury trial risks and rewards.

Understanding the Trial Process

Before delving into the risks and rewards, it’s important to understand what a trial entails. A personal injury trial is a legal process where the facts of a case are presented to a judge or jury, who will then make a decision regarding liability and, if applicable, the amount of damages to be awarded. The trial process includes the selection of a jury, opening statements, witness testimony, cross-examination, and closing arguments.

Rewards of Taking a Personal Injury Claim to Trial

Potential for Higher Compensation

One of the most compelling reasons to take a personal injury claim to trial is the possibility of receiving a higher award than what was offered in settlement negotiations. Juries can award sums that consider not only economic damages like medical bills and lost wages but also non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which might be undervalued by insurance companies during settlement talks.

Public Validation of Grievances

For some claimants, a trial offers a platform to publicly air grievances and receive validation from a jury of their peers. This aspect can be particularly important in cases involving gross negligence or malicious actions, where the claimant feels a strong need for justice and accountability.

Influencing Future Conduct

A trial can set a legal precedent or influence public opinion, potentially impacting the defendant’s future behavior. In cases involving defective products or public safety hazards, a trial can bring about changes in practices, policies, and regulations.

Risks of Going to Trial

Uncertainty of Outcome

Unlike a settlement, where the outcome is predictable and controlled, a trial offers no guarantee of success. The decision rests in the hands of the jury or judge, who may be unpredictable. There is always a risk that the claimant will receive less than the settlement offer, or nothing at all.

Duration and Stress

Trials can be lengthy, often taking months or even years to conclude. The prolonged process can impose significant emotional and physical stress on claimants, who may still be recovering from their injuries. The stress of reliving the incident through witness testimony and cross-examination can also exacerbate psychological trauma.

Financial Costs

Trials are generally more expensive than settlements due to higher legal fees, court costs, and expenses associated with expert witnesses and investigations. These costs can accumulate over time, especially in lengthy trials, and there’s no guarantee that they will be recovered, even if the claimant wins.

Public Exposure

Trial proceedings are public, which means the details of the case, including personal information and aspects of the claimant’s private life, can become public knowledge. This exposure can be distressing, particularly in sensitive cases.

Strategic Considerations

Assessing the Strength of the Case

The decision to go to trial should be based on a realistic assessment of the case’s strength. This includes the quality of evidence, the credibility of witnesses, and the legal arguments underpinning the claim. A strong case increases the likelihood of a favorable jury verdict.

personal injury cases

Evaluating Personal Resilience

Claimants should consider their ability to withstand the pressures of a trial, including the emotional strain and the impact on their personal and professional lives.

Professional legal advice is crucial in making an informed decision about going to trial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can offer a realistic assessment of the case’s potential success at trial and guide the claimant through the complexities of the legal process.

Make an Informed Choice

Navigating a personal injury claim is a complex and challenging process, especially when considering whether to settle or proceed to trial. If you are grappling with this decision, it’s crucial to have seasoned legal professionals by your side. We encourage you to get a free case evaluation to explore your options and ensure that your decision is well-informed. Let us help you assess the risks and rewards of taking your personal injury claim to trial.


The decision to take a personal injury claim to trial involves weighing multiple factors, including potential benefits like higher compensation and public accountability against risks such as unpredictability, costs, and personal toll. With the right guidance and a thorough understanding of the “personal injury trial risks and rewards,” claimants can make decisions that align with their best interests and legal objectives.

Focused Keywords

  • Personal injury trial risks and rewards
  • Trial vs. settlement in personal injury cases
  • Jury awards in personal injury trials
  • Costs