From terrible car accidents to financial damages because of a professional’s neglect towards a client, these kinds of cases and more tend to be grouped under the umbrella of Personal Injury. When a personal injury case is made, it is when a person has a legal dispute with another party for causing them harm, whether physically, mentally, financially, or even all of the above. The main cause of personal injury is often negligence on the defendant’s part, whether through their actions or their inaction.
Usually, compensation is discussed between the injured person’s personal injury lawyer and the defendant’s insurance company. Sometimes the insurance company may bring in their own lawyers. But there are then two possible results that usually happen from these meetings: An Informal Settlement, and a Formal Lawsuit. Let’s take a look first at what an Informal Settlement is!
A settlement is usually a kind of negotiation that takes place outside of court. These are done early in the process where the people directly involved gather with their insurance companies as well as their respective attorneys to discuss and “settle” on a negotiated payment where both sides also promise to cease any further action beyond, such as a formal lawsuit.
A settlement is often what happens during personal injury situations and is often how the situation concludes—but if you’ve been personally injured and the defendant and their insurance company are eager to offer a settlement, be sure to consult a personal injury lawyer first before agreeing to any offers. A personal injury lawyer can tell you more about your rights and if you’re being offered a fair deal or if the insurance company is trying to short you of what you’re truly owed.
When you meet with your personal injury lawyer, there are several factors about your case that you will want to discuss with them before deciding on accepting a settlement offer or if you should pursue a higher amount of compensation in court:
How Strong Would Your Case Be in Court?
When discussing with your personal injury lawyer about the strength of your case, you’ll want to ask your lawyer about their insights into similar cases like your own and what kinds of outcome they would expect from your situation. You’ll also want to ask your lawyer also about how your evidence holds up against whatever evidence the defendant and their insurance company may have. These questions can help you determine what the strengths and weaknesses of both sides may be and how easy or challenging it may be taking the case to court.
How Much is Your Case Worth?
The next topic of discussion should be the money and damages that are involved. You should discuss with your attorney about what they think your case may actually be worth, what minimum amount you would accept, and also what the defendant has in regard to money and their own insurance coverage. Together, all these factors can determine whether it’s worth pursuing a case in court or to accept the settlement amount.
Concerns and Matters to Think About
Other factors that you may want to consider before deciding on taking your case to court:
- Personal injury cases take place in the civil court. Usually, these cases are open to the public and not beyond the reach of public media.
- Personal information can become public during the discovery process and during a trial.
- Depending on your case’s details and circumstances, the trial can take anywhere from months to years.
- You may want to ask your lawyer if they’re familiar with the tactics of the opposing lawyer—there’s always a chance that they’ve faced off against that lawyer before, which can give you insight into how willing the opposing lawyer is to negotiating.
- Think about whether you are willing to accept a partial settlement based on certain issues in your case, or if you’re willing to accept an offer that doesn’t involve money.
If an informal settlement isn’t good enough, you may decide to take the case to civil court by filing a civil complaint. This is popularly called “filing a lawsuit”. When a lawsuit commences, your attorney will begin gathering evidence and preparing for taking the fight to court. But the defendant and their insurance company will be doing the same as well. You should expect your case to be potentially lengthy, taking anywhere from months to years.
A lot of the case will revolve around proof of negligence and/or malicious intent. The costs and length of your medical treatment or means of recovery will also be brought into account, and there will likely be calls for negotiation as the case proceeds. Speak more with your attorney to gain insights into the likelihood of a case victory. If a case should prove too arduous, you may want to consider what points of negotiation you may be willing to let go to see the case conclude—this can aid in the negotiations.
Personal Injuries Can Happen Any Time, Be Prepared with TopResearched
If you’ve suffered injury or damages through no fault of your own, you should always make sure that you’re getting compensated for your suffering and pain. Insurance companies will often try to make lowball offers that won’t fully satisfy your costs of recovery. To make sure that doesn’t happen, it is wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer, even if it’s just to assess the settlement offer that’s been made by an insurance company. But when things need to be taken to court, a personal injury lawyer will be your key to getting your just compensation. TopResearched can help you find the right personal injury lawyer with our top expert lists—instead of spending ages searching the web, you can find the best personal injury lawyers in and around your area with TopResearched!