In every personal injury case, the goal is to have the claim settled quickly. When each party can reach agreeable terms and conditions, personal injury cases can get settled without going to court. As a matter of fact, most personal injury cases do get settled outside of court. That’s because taking a personal injury case to the courtroom is time-consuming and expensive for all parties involved. If you’re unable to settle your personal injury claim, you just may need to follow through with a lawsuit and take it to trial. There are a number of reasons why parties fail to settle outside of court. Often, the parties cannot agree on the amount of compensation or even who caused the accident. But, here are some main reasons why your personal injury cause may have to go to litigation.
Fault or Liability is Being Denied
In order to prevail in a personal injury case, you’ve got to prove the other party caused the injury due to negligence. The other party may feel this hasn’t been done and deny liability. Four elements must be proved in a personal injury lawsuit. It must be shown that the defendant had a duty of reasonable care to the plaintiff. A breach of that duty must also be demonstrated. Direct causation to the plaintiff’s actions due to that breach must be shown. Damages, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering, must be proved. Proving these elements by a preponderance of the evidence that shows it is likely true is the duty of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney must prove that your version of the cause is more than likely true.
More Than One Party at Fault
During the pre-litigation stage of your claim, the defendant may argue liability and state that they are not the direct cause of your injuries. The defendant may try to blame another party for the cause of your injury. The insurance company may even try to blame you for your own injury. For example, the insurance company may allege that you were speeding and contributed to the accident. Even under those circumstances, you may still be eligible for monetary compensation for damages sustained in the accident. It depends on what law of comparative negligence the state uses.
Different Opinions on the Claim’s Value
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to lowball what they want to pay for medical expenses and other damages. The goal of the insurance company is to save money, not dish it out. They want to protect their bottom line. However, when they undervalue your claim, it can put a big emotional and financial burden on you and your family. Even with witness statements, medical documentation, video footage and police reports, the insurance company may undervalue your claim. This is when full litigation in the courtroom becomes a necessity.
The Pretrial Phases of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The process can take several months depending on the complexity of the case. There will be a complaint and answer phase. The complaint is a legal document outlining your allegations on the accident and your injury. The complaint is served on the defendant, and the defendant usually has 30 days to answer. The answer is the legal document that either denies or admits the allegations. During the discovery phase, each party in the lawsuit gathers documents, evidence, testimony and information regarding the case. Written discovery entails questions known as interrogatories. Oral discovery is also known as depositions. During this phase, experts, witnesses and each party are questioned by an attorney. The defendant can file a motion phase before or after discovery. This is where the defendant will ask the court to dismiss the case. A hearing may be held to take into account both sides of the arguments.
When the case goes to trial, your attorney will present your side to the judge or jury, and the defendant will put up their defense. A personal injury trial typically consists of six phases: jury selection, opening remarks, witness testimony with cross-examination, jury instruction, jury deliberation and final verdict.
The personal injury lawsuit process is complex. It is critical to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who has a track record of success. If you’ve incurred a personal injury due to the negligence of another person or company, turn to The Hanna Law Firm for the best results. The Hanna Law Firm has years of experience in taking personal injury cases to trial and has prevailed. They are committed to getting you the compensation that you deserve and will fight vigorously on your behalf. They have helped many other people with personal injury claims and can help you, too. Give the Hanna Law Firm a call for a free consultation. They will be happy to help you.