I have a personal injury case pending in state court in Tennessee. What are the odds that my case will go to trial?
These statistics will give you an idea of how many cases are actually tried. In the one-year period ending June 30, 2009, there were about 11,000 lawsuits filed involving all types of personal injury and wrongful death in the state of Tennessee. (Many other cases were settled before a lawsuit was even filed; those numbers are not publicly available.) However, there were only 260 jury trials and 348 non-jury trials in personal injury and wrongful death cases during that same period. These statistics are about the same from year to year, and thus it is fair to say that only about 5% percent of personal injury and wrongful death cases in which lawsuits are filed actually go to trial.
It is difficult to predict, however, whether any particular case will settle. Our experience is that a case is more likely to settle at a higher dollar value if the insurance company (a) sees that the case has been prepare for trial and (b) has been appropriately prepared by lawyers who it knows are not afraid to go to trial. Thus, our office prepares all cases as if the case is going to be tried. Quite frankly, this means we invest more time and money into cases than many other lawyers, but we believe that this approach leads to better results for our clients.