Were you hurt in an accident in Oklahoma? You have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may be wondering: Will I have to go to court for my personal injury claim? The answer is “it depends”—though the large majority of these cases are resolved through a settlement instead of a verdict. In this article, our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer highlights the key things to know about the changes that your case will end up in court.

Know the Data: Few Personal Injury Claims Go to Court

First and foremost, it is useful to start with an overview of the data. As cited by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the most comprehensive data on tort claims—including personal injury cases—shows that fewer than 5% of them receive a verdict. Put another way, most personal injury claims do not go to court. Trials are relatively uncommon in personal injury law. 

Personal Injury Settlements are Far More Common than Personal Injury Verdicts

It is far more likely that your personal injury case in Oklahoma will be settled instead of receiving a verdict. Through a settlement, you can still pursue full and fair financial compensation for your damages, including your property loss, medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering. Settlements offer a potential for benefits for all parties involved in the case. For the injured victim, settlements guarantee compensation without the delay and stress of a trial. For the defendant and their insurer, they present a way to control expenses and resolve their liability in a timely manner. 

Three Key Factors that Impact the Likelihood Your Case Will Go to Court

What are the odds that your case will reach a resolution through a personal injury settlement? The answer depends on a number of issues. Here are three main factors that affect the likelihood that a personal injury claim in Oklahoma will go to court: 

  • The Severity of Your Injuries: The more severe your injuries, the higher the stakes. With more at risk, insurance companies typically push harder. They are more aggressive, and that can potentially lead to impasses that can only be resolved in court. Severe injuries come with higher medical bills, longer recovery times, and immense pain and suffering for the victim. The value of the claim can be substantial. It is imperative that victims are able to access the absolute maximum compensation. increasing the value of the claim and, consequently, the resistance from the other side
  • The Complexity of Liability: Oklahoma is a fault-based personal injury state. You must prove liability in order to bring a successful claim. How complex is it to establish liability will impact the likelihood of a trial. When an Oklahoma personal injury case involves complex liability questions—such as multiple parties being at fault or unclear circumstances leading to the injury—reaching a settlement can become more challenging. 
  • The Strength of Your Claim: Finally, the strength of your claim also matters. A strong claim, backed by solid evidence and clear liability, tends to intimidate the defense. Knowing that the odds of winning in court are slim, the defendant is more likely to settle to avoid the expense and negative publicity of a trial. Conversely, if your claim is weaker or the evidence is less compelling, the defense might take their chances in court. Indeed, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. If they do not think you have a strong claim, they are far more likely to push for litigation. 

Any Specific Personal Injury Case Could End Up in Litigation

Despite the general probability, the personal injury law process is unpredictable. Your case—which is going to be unique in its details and circumstances—could end up in court. A settlement is more likely, but a verdict is possible—especially if you suffered a serious injury. For this reason, injured victims need a trial-tested Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. No matter your circumstances, a top-tier attorney will help you build a strong case and take action to get justice.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney Today

At McGuire Law Firm, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers have the expertise you can trust. If you have any questions about the personal injury claims process, our legal team is here to help. Give us a call now or contact us online for your no-cost, no-obligation initial case review. We represent injured victims in Oklahoma City and throughout the wider region.