Personal injury cases are never easy and one thing every specialized attorney will tell you from the start is that you will never have a chance of representing yourself successfully. You need specialized help. After all, if you have been the victim of an accident or have been affected by negligence, your personal injury case is worth all the attention it can get. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before or during trial; only a small percentage of these lawsuits are tried in court and reach a jury verdict.
So, is it to your own benefit to keep the case out of the courtroom and the hands of a jury? Below you can find out a few industry tips about settlements and how your accidents attorney will help you get them.
When do settlement discussions really start?
Once a civil lawsuit has been filed, serious settlement discussions will not start until the defense attorney has done all of the discovery work- this will include tools like interrogatories and depositions. Insurance companies will rarely if ever want to engage in serious settlement negotiations until they have all of the facts that they need to make a decision. If the case is more complex, everyone will be waiting till the plaintiff’s lawyer has identified the plaintiff’s expert witnesses. In some cases, the defense attorney will file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, in which case no one may be willing to discuss settlement until after the court rules on the motion. Other times, the defense attorney will be willing to discuss settlement while the court is considering the motion. In settlement negotiations, every case is different.
Who is involved in the settlement discussion?
In discussing settlement, it is the insurance company and the defense attorney who hold all the cards. They are the ones with the money. If they are not ready to talk seriously about settlement, the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney will get nowhere in settlement discussions.
How is the settlement established?
In less significant or smaller injury situations, a settlement may be extremely easy to set up. The lawyers will get in contact and decide on a time for a settlement meeting. If the defense thinks that the demand from the other party was too high, they may involve the insurer who will not make a counteroffer. In such cases, mediation may be necessary.
If the case is rather large and the personal injury significant, mediation will usually be involved. In fact, many courts today require the parties to attend mediation to try to get the case settled
Settlement negotiations can go on for a long time, so it is not advisable to get discouraged by it. You should be able to count on your experienced accidents attorney’s advice and experience to make sure your case is on the right track.