A new study has found that most personal injury plaintiffs who decided to pass up a settlement offer and went to trial ended up getting less money then if they settled their injury case prior to trial. A copy of an article regarding the study can be found here.
While the results of that study may hold true for many lawyers, my experience as a medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland and the District of Columbia has been the opposite. For almost 20 years, I have been a civil trial lawyer handling complex litigation. Most of the matters I work on are catastrophic injury (medical malpractice, wrongful death, product liability, major collisions) and business litigation matters. I handle approximately a dozen such litigation matters a year. In the overwhelming majority of these cases, I have been successful for my clients. During my entire career, a few clients’ cases have been thrown out of court and have lost a few trials (I can recall approximately three defense verdicts), but I have been successful in more than 90% of the cases that I have pursued. This includes many trials where the defense offered either nothing prior to trial or a minimal settlement offer, resulting in my taking the case to trial and getting a million dollar plus verdict. A list of some of my verdicts can be found here.
While no lawyer wins every case, the above-referenced study shows that my success rate is unusually high, which I believe is due to enjoying what I do, limiting the number of cases I handle, picking the right cases to handle, carefully working up my cases before trial and working very hard. I don’t say any of this to be conceited, but to demonstrate how concentrating in a field of law and adhering to the above-referenced practices can significantly help a client avoid the results of that study.