When a victim suffers a personal injury because of the negligence of another party, not only do they have to deal with the physical and emotional aspects of the injury, they also often also have a variety of financial issues to address, including medical expenses and loss of income from being unable to work. In the majority of these cases, there is an insurance company involved because the injured victim files a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance, such as vehicle insurance for a car accident or homeowner’s insurance for a premises liability incident.
The Insurance Offer
When a victim files an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, the company will usually offer the victim a certain amount that often doesn’t come close to what the victim’s losses add up to. When this happens, the victim has the option of pursuing litigation against the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Discovery and Settlement
After the victim’s lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer has filed the lawsuit with the court, each side will conduct discovery. This is when attorneys will gather evidence, as well as take the depositions of the parties involved in the accident. When all of this has been completed, the victim’s attorney and the insurance company may be able to come to a settlement amount agreement. If this is the case, then the case is settled and there is no need to proceed to trial.
The majority of personal injury cases settle before the case proceeds to trial. By settling the case, the cost of litigation and attorney fees will be reduced, as well as getting the victim their compensation more quickly.
Proceeding to a Trial
Unfortunately, not all cases settle, and it is necessary for the case to proceed to trial to be heard and decided by a judge or jury. Some of the reasons why this may happen is if the insurance company disagrees with the extent of the victim’s injuries or the costs of treatments. A case may also proceed to trial when there are multiple parties who are at-fault and there is an issue regarding each party’s percentage of fault.
During the trial, both sides will present their evidence to the judge and jury. When both sides rest their case, the jury will deliberate and decide if the victim has proved their case, and if so, the jury will also decide how much the victim should receive in compensation.
Contact a Lawyer
If you are an accident victim, it is crucial to your case to find an attorney who is willing to negotiate in your best interest, however, will not settle a case for an amount that does not match the amount you may be entitled to just to avoid litigation. You want an attorney who is not only a skilled negotiator, but also one who is just as skillful as a litigator. Contact a law firm today to begin building your case.