September 15, 2020
Personal injury cases can be very complex. If you’re worried about going to court to settle your case, you should understand the process. In most cases, going to trial is a last resort for both sides. A trial is more expensive for everyone involved. The circumstances of your case will determine whether you end up in court or not.
Filing an Insurance Claim Is a Private Matter
After an accident, the first step is filing an insurance claim. At this stage, there is no lawsuit involved. You submit your injuries and damages and ask for compensation. The insurance reviews your claim and decides how much they will offer, if at all. The first counter offer may not be enough money to pay for your damages. You may negotiate with the insurance company. You can also hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. Once the insurance company makes its final offer, you can accept or walk away. You can appeal the decision through the insurance company’s process, which doesn’t mean you’ll go to court. Although most appeals won’t result in a better decision, it is an option.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Usually Settle Out of Court
If an appeal doesn’t yield you the result you want, you have the option to file a lawsuit with the local court. Although this puts the case in the hands of the court, it doesn’t mean that you will have to go to trial. The court tries to get you and the other party to come to an agreement before setting a trial date. You may have to enter mediation with the other party. The mediator can help you come to an agreement. You can still have your lawyer advise you. If you and the other party can’t come to an agreement after mediation, then the judge may schedule a trial.
Going to Court May Not Be in Your Best Interest
It’s estimated that 95% of all personal injury cases settle out of court. It’s not only the costs involved, but the risk is greater. You don’t have any guarantee that you’ll win in a trial. If you have been offered a settlement, at least you know that you will get some money for your damages. A settlement gets the money in your hands quicker. Going to trial can take time, months and even years.