Vital Statistics on Personal Injury Cases
There are some staggering statistics in personal injury that can help you comprehend what to anticipate from a lawsuit, including:
On average, auto accident cases account for more than half of personal injury lawsuits.
The majority of personal injury lawsuits in the United States are auto accident cases, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). A car accident is involved in about half of tort trials in the 75 largest counties in the country.
There are also significant differences in auto injury cases from other personal injury cases. For instance, victims of auto accidents are much more likely to sue an individual than a company or manufacturer (such as the driver of the other vehicle). In almost three-fourths of all auto cases, one person is suing another. In contrast, only 28% of cases involving non-automobile accident tort trials involve suing an individual.
Medical malpractice and premises liability The category with the highest number of cases that go to trial is auto accidents
In the United States, nearly 15% of tried tort cases were related to premises liability or medical malpractice (source: BSJ). About 2% of tort trials that involve product liability come next, frequently involving hazardous materials, breast implants, asbestos, or other defective product issues.
95% to 96% of personal injury cases in the United States are settled before trial, which is how most cases are resolved. Courts frequently promote private dispute resolution, requiring that all potential resolutions be tried before a judge even sets a trial date.
It may take months or even years before a financial award is one of the main reasons why most litigants choose not to pursue their cases in court. Of course, if you triumph. Trials can be dangerous, and there is no assurance that you will prevail. In addition, going to a trial is expensive, and the more expensive it is, the longer the trial lasts.
To settle, litigants typically enlist the aid of impartial mediators, like a personal injury attorney.
If your case does proceed to trial, plaintiffs have a higher chance of success in bench trials, but jury trials also have a higher chance of awarding a larger sum of money.
According to data on personal injury cases from the BJS, bench trials (68%) rather than jury trials (54%), plaintiffs are more likely to prevail in personal injury cases. In jury trials, the decision-making authority rests with the jury; in bench trials, the judge makes the final determination.
Although the likelihood of winning jury trials has been less favorable, the plaintiff is typically compensated more, with a median award of $30,500. Bench trials typically result in a median award of $24,000. Furthermore, plaintiffs who prevailed in jury trials were more likely to receive awards of $1 million or more (6.3%) than bench trials (1.6%).
Personal injury lawsuits: New Trends
Personal injury lawsuits are largely a reflection of the various manufacturing, social, and technological developments taking place at a particular time. The landscape of personal injury cases has undergone several changes in the last ten years.
Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services have completely changed how people commute and travel. However, they have also introduced several problems that have led to legal action. New modes of transportation bring with them a whole new set of problems. For example, drivers who pick up passengers using the app have fought to be reclassified as employees rather than contractors. Drivers who fall under this category are entitled to perks like overtime pay and health insurance typically reserved for employees. Regarding this, class action lawsuits have been filed against Uber and Lyft.
Assaults that occur during a ride are another problem that ridesharing presents. Even though rideshare companies have taken some steps to lower the likelihood of assaults happening during rides, they have consistently denied liability in court. Twenty-two lawsuits were filed against Lyft in 2019, even though only seven personal injury civil lawsuits were filed against the company in state courts in 2017 and 2018. This indicates that the issue is getting worse and is not going away soon.
Drone-related injuries are on the rise as their use becomes more widespread. A total of 1.5 million drones were given as holiday gifts in the United States in 2016. Drone misuse, such as flying one over a restricted area, and invasion of privacy, where a person's private space is invaded, are frequent problems related to drones. When a drone crashes, it may also destroy personal property.
Drones under 55 pounds used solely for recreational purposes are exempt from FFA registration requirements, even though the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) has authority over and regulates their use. As a result, the use of drones is largely unregulated.
The high number of personal injury cases resulting from auto accidents is partially attributable to distracted driving from cell phone use according to Owe Halvorsen from Halvorsen & Co. Mobile phone use has been a major factor in car accidents over the past few years. An alarming correlation between the rise in mobile phone use and the number of auto accidents was discovered in a 2018 report. In 2017, 77% more people had smartphones than the 55% who did so in 2013. Car accidents also went up, from 5.7 million to 6.4 million, an increase of 12.3%.
Chances of Success in a Personal Injury Case
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to help you determine whether or not you might win a personal injury lawsuit or how much you might be awarded if you do. There are numerous variables at play. For instance, a lot will depend on whether you go to trial. Only 4% to 5% of personal injury lawsuits go to trial, as was previously mentioned. About 90% of those cases end in a loss. However, it doesn't follow that personal injury cases are without hope. If anything, it merely confirms the value of working with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to guide you through a challenging process.