After suffering an injury in a car accident, you want to be able to pay your medical bills and recover the money you lost when you could not work. Most people think that this means a long, drawn-out trial, but the fact is that the majority of car accident injury claims are settled outside of court. However, before deciding to go to court or settle, there are factors you need to consider.
There are some advantages to settling your lawsuit without going to court. The main reason many people do so is because they receive their payout faster and they avoid attorney fees. Settling also keeps you from having to go to court for hearings, depositions and the trial. It is also important to note that a jury can be unpredictable and may decide against you even though the evidence may be strong. One of the first steps an attorney will take is to collect all your medical and employment records. Once all the documentation is received, a demand letter is sent that outlines your out-of-pocket expenses, your injuries and the amount you are requesting as compensation. Once that letter is received, settlement negotiations begin.
Although settling is often the best way to go when you have a car accident injury claim, you may not have an option. There may have been no response to your demand letter or the insurance company may have made a much lower offer than you can accept. Your attorney will file a lawsuit in court and the other person will have to answer the complaint in a specific amount of time, usually 20 to 30 days. While waiting for a response, the attorney will begin gathering what is known as discovery. This is the information that will be used to demonstrate why you are demanding the amount you requested. Discovery is the evidence that will be presented to the judge and jury during the trial.
Even after you have filed your lawsuit, you can still choose to settle the case as long as no verdict has been rendered. In some cases, a court filing will trigger the insurance company to increase the offer in order to avoid trial. Even if the trial is already underway, you can still settle the case. However, once the judge or jury has issued a verdict, a settlement is not possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the easy form online.