For victims, personal injury cases can be extremely tough. Following the trauma of an accident, victims are confronted with medical treatment, financial difficulties, growing stress, and, in many cases, difficulties returning to work.
A new difficulty develops if victims decide to file a claim against the party responsible for their injuries and/or proceed with a lawsuit. The legal world can be odd and convoluted, loaded with a whole new set of vocabulary, and filing a lawsuit can create a great deal of anxiety for many people.
Filing a claim for your injuries does not have to be traumatic if you have an experienced and sympathetic personal injury attorney on your side. Indeed, a lawyer should be able to guide you through the procedure, ensuring that you comprehend each step along the way. Keep reading to learn more and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
How your case is likely to start
Your claim will most likely begin with a demand or claim letter sent to the party who caused your accident or their insurance company. This usually kicks off a round of talks. If the case cannot be resolved, your personal injury lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit.
Following the filing of a case, you will be subject to the court's rules, which can be complicated. The parties in most instances begin by exchanging information about the case in a process known as discovery. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case will proceed to trial.
What is prejudgment interest?
A specific rule in California, Arizona, and many other states specifies that if the plaintiff (or victim) in a personal injury case makes a settlement offer that the defendant (the person who caused the accident) refuses and the case continues to trial, the defendant may be liable for prejudgment interest.
This happens when the plaintiff receives a more favorable judgment at trial than what he or she originally offered to settle the case for. The defendant is then responsible for interest at a set rate (usually 10%), computed from the date the offer was made until the judgment is met (the judgment is paid).
For example, if you were in a car accident on January 1 and offered to settle the case for $100,000 under this special rule, the defendant refused, and the jury gave you $200,000 at trial, you would be regarded to have a more favorable trial outcome. From January 1 until the day he paid you the $200,000, the defendant would owe you 10% interest on that judgment.
Depending on when the offer was made and when the judgment was satisfied, this could amount to a significant sum of money, making it all the more vital to engage an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with these restrictions and can use them to your advantage. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker now at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation.