If you have been hurt in a car accident, or in an kind of incident that you feel was not at fault, then you may want to consult with an experienced lawyer that specializes in personal injury claims. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to seek money to pay for any expenses you have incurred due to your injury, such as medical expenses, or loss of wages due to time off from work. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit and negotiate a settlement with the party responsible for your injuries.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
When it comes to deciding whether to accept a personal injury settlement offer, or file a lawsuit against the person, or company, that hurt you, it is best to first understand the litigation process.
First, when it comes to most personal injury cases, your personal injury attorney will probably not be negotiating directly with the person responsible for your incident. Rather, he or she will probably be communicating with an insurance company representative. This is because when it comes to auto collisions, slip-and-fall cases and other common types of personal injury cases, those who may be at fault for the injury have insurance coverage. In such situations, it is usually the insurance company that is obligated to pay for the injuries.
The first step your attorney will take in a personal injury case is to collect your medical records, and highlight your treatment in a demand letter to the insurance company. The letter will outline your case. This outline will include a description of your injuries, details about the accident, and why you and your attorney believe it is the fault of the insured. It will then list an invitation to settle the case. The opposing party will then either respond with a letter denying any fault for the incident, or with a settlement offer.
When the letter is a claim denial, there is very little to do other than drop the matter entirely, or file a lawsuit as the insurance company has deemed that they are not at fault for your injuries. If there was a settlement offer, one can expect the offer to be lower than what you want. Your attorney’s role following a settlement offer, is to enter settlement negotiations. These negotiations will continue until there is an agreed-upon settlement amount, or you get to a point where the insurance company will not offer any more money than their last best offer. If there is no agreed-upon settlement amount, then you and your attorney must decide whether you want to file a formal lawsuit against the party you believe to be responsible for paying for the injury. If you choose, or are forced, to go down the litigation road, you must now that it can take a long time, and cost a lot of money before you reach a resolution.
Personal Injury Settlement or Litigation
The costs of your medical bills and any lost wages will constitute the majority of how your settlement figures are determined by your attorney. They will make up the majority of the amount that your attorney will ask the opposing party for to settle your claim.
You may have a case that demands that your attorney seek other money in the form of punitive damages, designed to punish the party at fault. If the other party outright accepts your personal injury settlement offer, then your dispute will be resolved. This may come as a relief, because a trial is not an easy or fast process. This is why, much of the time, it is in your best interest to settle a claim. However, if the opposing party responds with settlement offers and counter-offers that are considerably lower than you believe your case is worth, then you must discuss with your attorney the prospect of litigation, and potentially going to trial.
If the at fault party’s last best settlement offer is obviously not enough to compensate for the severity of your injuries and loss of income, you may want to take your case to trial. You must discuss this with your lawyer. Your attorney has reviewed the evidence in your case, and can best evaluate how favorable or unfavorable that evidence is to you. You may find that you do not have nearly as strong of a case as you think. Your attorney has every reason, and motivation, to get the best resolution for your case that they can get, which may include having to give you the unpleasant information that your case is not as favorable as you believe. So where a mutually agreed settlement number cannot be reached, and you are deciding whether to litigate or accept the insurance companies last best settlement offer, the most important thing you can do listen to your attorney and your attorney’s advice surrounding their position on what you should do.
Should you choose litigation, then you are choosing to be patient. Patience is a requirement to litigation, because once litigation begins time deadlines are set. Those deadlines can extend the time of a case, turning weeks into months. So, whether litigation is chosen, or forced upon you by the insurance company, be patient and allow your retained professional advocate to represent you and your interests.
Have You Suffered A Personal Injury In Henderson?
If you've suffered a personal injury you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free consultation.