Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Originally published October 4, 2021. Updated September 27, 2023.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may have significant medical bills you can’t afford to pay. When you’re missing work and suffering pain and emotional distress from your injuries, you’ll likely want to contact our St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley to help file a claim for compensation against the negligent party.

It’s our job is to protect your legal rights after an accident and to help determine how much you’re rightfully owed.

Our personal injury lawyers are experienced at gathering evidence and will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If you are filing a personal injury claim against a negligent party and your case goes to trial, we can represent you in court. But how frequently do cases go to trial? It depends on the case. But it’s more common for cases to settle out of court.


You might be hesitant to hire a personal injury lawyer because you don’t want to go to court. However, the majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court.

More than 90% of lawsuits are settled before they go to trial. For civil cases, pre-trial settlements occur up to 97% of the time. This is beneficial to the plaintiff because settlements are generally faster than trials. You receive your money quicker than if you went to trial and don’t have to pay the monetary costs associated with a trial.

Agreeing to a settlement is also less stressful than going to trial. You don’t have to find time to appear in court or give testimony. You won’t have to relive the memories of your accident.

A settlement is also less risky than going to trial. With a settlement, you are guaranteed to receive the agreed-upon amount. In a trial, you run the risk of the jury or judge awarding you less money, or even none at all if they side with the defendant.


If the insurance company refuses to pay your requested amount, you may need to go to trial. Your personal injury lawyer may also advise you to go to trial if your case is strong or straightforward. You should never settle for a lower amount than what you need to cover your losses.


Several factors determine if you need to pursue a lawsuit. These factors also affect the value of your claim and the success of your case.

  • The Severity of Your Injuries and Property Damage: The more severe your injuries or damages are, the more likely you will need to file a lawsuit. More severe injuries leave you with higher costs, so the value of your claim will be higher.
  • High Medical Bills: You’re more likely to need to file a lawsuit when you have expensive medical bills you can’t afford to pay. You’ll need to file a lawsuit for compensation to pay your existing bills and to recoup sufficient funds for future care such as physical therapy.
  • Limits on Insurance Policies: This applies to limits of your insurance and any other involved party’s insurance. If you need more money than your policy grants, you will need to file a lawsuit from another party who can be considered at-fault.
  • Who’s at Fault: If the other party is found to be responsible for the accident, you have justification for bringing a lawsuit against them to seek compensation for your injuries.


It’s essential to know how long you have after your accident to file a lawsuit. This length of time, the statute of limitations, varies by state.

If your auto accident occurred in Missouri, you have five years from the incident date to file a lawsuit for injury claims.

Get OUr St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers on Your Side

Your case is too important to handle on your own. Make sure you’re getting the best value for your claim by hiring a personal injury attorney.

Our attorneys at Cofman Townsley have over 50 years of experience. We’ve helped clients secure over $300 million from claims. Hire a personal injury attorney in St. Louis to handle your case. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.