People who face difficulty collecting damages for an injury they suffered due to someone else’s negligence often fear what will happen if they go to court, and wonder if they’ll have to go to court as part of their case. The simplest answer to this question is that you probably won’t have to go to court.
Most civil suits are settled out of court and never see the courtroom itself. There are many reasons why this is in the interests of everyone involved. Read about the process of an injury lawsuit, how it’s usually resolved, your options and why in general you probably won’t have to go to court.
How an Injury Lawsuit Works
The process of resolving an injury lawsuit is fairly standard. Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule, but in general, it starts when you file the suit and issue a demand letter to the insurance company. This letter outlines your case, the specifics of your injuries and the amount you expect to collect in damages.
The plaintiff’s insurance company or attorneys then attempt to dismantle your claim and come back with a low-ball offer or try to refuse payment altogether. From there a sort of negotiation dance begins between you and the defendant, where you give a little and they give a little until both sides come to a reasonable settlement in the middle. The case is then settled and you collect the funds you’ve agreed upon.
Why It Usually Doesn’t Go to Court
Taking an injury case to court is rarely in the best interest of anyone involved. It’s much better to negotiate your case and get as solid a settlement as possible. There are a number of reasons for this. The first, and most obvious, is expenses. Court trials are exceedingly expensive, and even if your attorney works on contingency, there’s court costs and fees you’ll get stuck paying if you lose, which can be quite costly.
In addition, if you go to court and lose, you stand to gain nothing. Likewise, if you win the plaintiff stands to pay out the full amount of your demand. There’s potential for big loss in this way for both parties. Finally, even if you win, you could be waiting a very long time to get paid after a court case. This is because there’s a potential for appeals in any court case, which can literally drag on for years.
Finally, there are other options available if initial negotiations fail. These include third-party mediation which keeps the control with you and helps you to save some money as compared to a court trial.
Hiring an Injury Attorney
In the end, your best option to get a settlement for any injury case is to seek the services of a qualified personal injury attorney. No matter how difficult your case, you’re the victim and you deserve aggressive representation that will protect your rights.