How often do plaintiffs win?

In only 15 percent of cases, both parties were right to go to trial, meaning that the defendant paid less than what the plaintiff had asked for, but the plaintiff received more than what the defendant had offered. According to some estimates, the vast majority of cases are resolved between 80 and 92 percent.

Personal injury

cases are resolved out of court 95% of the time. Of those who go to court, many fail to win their case.

In all cases, plaintiffs win just over half of the cases. They are most successful in automotive-related personal and commercial injury cases, winning approximately 66 percent of both types of cases. They win less frequently in medical negligence and product liability cases, winning just 33 percent for the former and 44 percent for the latter. These patterns do not vary substantially over time or jurisdiction.

This low chance of winning the trial is why there are fewer lawyers who actually handle plaintiffs' medical negligence cases and generally charge a slightly higher contingency fee than in a standard personal injury case. For the plaintiff, it may be worth resolving a personal injury case to avoid a lengthy trial and the risk of losing.

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