The thought of filing a personal injury lawsuit may conjure up images of a courtroom trial. In fact, most personal injury cases never go to trial. Instead, the parties negotiate a settlement that both sides can accept.
While negotiations are more cost-effective and less onerous than a trial, they can also feel confusing or even overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Here’s what to expect during personal injury case negotiations.
- You can (and should) work with a lawyer.
Many negotiations start and end in the “direct negotiation” stage, in which you or your attorney negotiate with an insurance company representative to find a settlement amount that works for both of you. Hiring a lawyer to represent you in this negotiations gives you an experienced representative with the resources to investigate and prove your actual needs, and who has your best interests in mind.
- You have options beyond direct negotiation.
If sitting down and talking to the insurance company fails, other forms of negotiation are often available. Mediation is a more formal method involving a neutral third-party mediator whose job is to help the parties reach common ground. Mediation is one of the most commonly-used forms of structured negotiation in injury cases, and many judges require parties to attempt mediation before trial.
- When all else fails, you can go to court – if you meet your deadlines.
If negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and other methods fail to resolve all the issues in the case, you can always go to trial – if you have filed a complaint before the applicable statute of limitations expires. The sooner you speak to an experienced lawyer, the more likely it is that your attorney will be able to file this paperwork before the deadline, preserving your ability to go to trial if needed.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and you suspect someone else’s negligence was responsible, don’t wait: contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your options, negotiate for a fair settlement, or even represent you at trial if necessary. Contact Calcagno & Associates today at (800) 722-0383 or via our online contact form for more information.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.