When you are harmed in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to be paid for your losses. In most circumstances, these losses are recovered by making an insurance claim or, if a settlement with the insurance company is not possible, by initiating a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit may be challenging and stressful, especially if you are still healing from an accident injury. The last thing most people who have been injured in an accident want to do is go to court.
Thankfully, the great majority of personal injury claims never make it to trial. This is because having the matter heard by a judge or jury is rarely in either party’s best interests. Understanding how personal injury lawsuits work will help you relax and determine whether or not your case will proceed to trial.
When a personal injury case begins
Following an initial meeting with a personal injury lawyer, a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Your lawyer will usually send a demand letter to the individual who caused the harm (the defendant). This letter will provide an overview of your case, including the facts, how they contributed to your injuries, and the damages you are seeking.
The letter is normally delivered to the defendant’s insurance company, which will perform its own investigation and react to the letter with their own assessment of the matter. The insurance company will usually respond with a low-ball counteroffer; there will then be a series of talks between your personal injury lawyer and the insurance company until a fair settlement is made.
However, in rare circumstances, the insurance company will not discuss a settlement and would refuse to budge. In certain cases, your personal injury lawyer will most likely advise you to launch a lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant will be served with the lawsuit, which will be filed at the local courts. Typically, the defendant will be represented by attorneys paid for by his insurance company and will have a limited number of days to file an answer to the complaint.
The pre-trial and discovery process begins once the lawsuit and response are filed. Discovery is the process through which the parties communicate case-related information, which can take a variety of forms. You may be required to present documentation, submit to a medical examination, or attend a deposition in which you will be questioned.
The insurance company and your personal injury attorney will very certainly continue to bargain during the pre-trial and discovery phases. They’ll utilize the material gleaned during the discovery process to argue for their side of the story, whether the settlement should be larger or lower.
Going to court is a dangerous endeavor for both parties since it is usually all or nothing – a judge might dismiss the case outright, and a jury could rule in your favor or against you. Furthermore, whomever loses the lawsuit has the option to appeal the ruling, which might prolong the case for several years. As a result, it is typically far more advantageous for both parties to settle their dispute outside of court if feasible.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own, they may seek the assistance of a third party, such as mediation or arbitration.
Having a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side might be the difference between receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and having to go to court. While no outcome can be guaranteed, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in achieving the best possible result. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker now at 800-333-0000 to book a free first consultation if you have been injured in an accident. We never charge a fee until we are successful in obtaining funds for you!