personal injury courtroom

Will My Case Go To Trial?

Television shows and movies about the legal process often culminate in a dramatic courtroom scene where the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and everyone walks out the door satisfied that justice was served. Outside of Hollywood, the legal system works a little bit differently. Stein & Shulman works to get our Chicago area personal injury clients the compensation they deserve whether or not their case sees the inside of a courtroom. 

The Vanishing Jury

The Stein & Shulman team has over five decades of practice experience. During our time as lawyers in the Chicago area, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of cases that go to trial. We are not the only ones who have noticed a drop in the number of jury trials. 

Last year the American Bar Association’s Commission on the American Jury released a study titled “Reasons for the Disappearing Jury Trial: Perspectives from Attorneys and Judges.” Based on a survey of 1,460 lawyers and judges from 2016 to 2019, the authors concluded that certain aspects of our modern legal system — damage caps and mandatory arbitration on the civil side of things — discourage jury trials. 

Data on the number of trials occurring reveals,” The percentage of federal lawsuits decided by jury trial dropped from 5.5% in 1962 to 0.8% in 2013. The percentage of federal criminal cases decided by jury trial dropped from 8.2% in 1962 to 3.6% by 2013.”

So, what does this mean for someone in the Chicago area who has suffered a serious injury, and wants to bring the person who harmed them to justice? It means going to trial to hold the responsible parties accountable is increasingly unlikely. 

Am I Just Out Of Luck? 

While the decrease in the number of jury trials occurring is disappointing — the study notes that while survey respondents feel “jury trials are less predictable, slower and less cost-effective than alternatives, they are also fairer” — it should not discourage you from seeking justice and getting compensation for your injuries. 

Filing a claim against someone who has injured you is still the best way to maximize the amount of money you can receive following an accident, even if you will likely never see the inside of a courtroom. A lawsuit gets everyone involved to the negotiating table and helps hold them accountable. 

As attorneys, we do a lot of the same prep work for these negotiations that we would do if your case were going to trial because there is a small chance that could happen. We gather evidence showing exactly what occurred, who is at fault, and how seriously you have been injured. We tell your story and convince the insurance companies and whoever else is at the negotiating table it is their responsibility to open their wallets and fairly compensate you. If you aren’t getting fully and fairly compensated, we are not afraid to push for a trial. 

Chicago Area Personal Injury Attorneys You Can Trust 

If you have suffered a serious injury in the Chicago area, and want help getting the money you need to facilitate your recovery, the Stein & Shulman team is here for you. Whether your case settles early or goes to trial, we will put your best interests first. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.