More than 95% of all personal injury cases are settled before the case goes to trial. This does not necessarily mean that you will not go to court during the process. It also does not mean that the process will be much quicker. Settling before the case goes to trial can save you money, time and additional heartache. If your case cannot be settled during negotiations, your attorney will file the personal injury suit in court. If it does go to court, it may still not go to trial. Many personal injury cases are settled in the pre-trial phase which can consist of three phases: complaint and answer, discovery and/or mediation. During any part of the pre-trial phase, one or both sides of the suit can request that your case be sent to mediation. Most cases are settled in the mediation phase if they have not already been settled. This allows both parties to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. Whether you are in search of an Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer or a lawyer in another location, it is important that you work with an experienced attorney to help you to navigate the complex personal injury process.
Settling Your Personal Injury Claim Before Court
With just under 5% of cases going to trial, it is not a stretch to assume that your case will also be settled before going that far. However, this is not a guarantee. If you would like to increase the likelihood of it being settled before going to trial, there are a few steps that you are recommended to take.
- Ensure that you seek medical attention immediately after the accident
- Collect as much evidence as you can from the scene
- Attend all medical appointments and follow the treatment plan exactly
- Connect with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can
- Have patience with the process
Why Does My Attorney Want To Wait Before Filing my Personal Injury Claim?
As a person that has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, it is perfectly normal to desire expedient compensation. While this is ideal, and can sometimes happen, it is not likely. Before demands are made, filings are made, etc. your attorney will want to complete their due diligence to ensure that you have a strong case. In addition, your personal injury lawyer will want to wait until your injuries have reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI). It could take weeks, months or years depending on the severity of your injuries. This will allow your attorney to know what your case is potentially worth. In many cases, insurance companies know that injury victims do not want to wait long, so they offer quick settlements in the hopes that you take an award that is smaller than what you actually deserve.
What to do if Your Case Goes to Trial
In the rare instance that your case goes to trial, it is important that you maintain all medical records related to your injury. In addition, ensure that you follow your treatment plan (medication, rehab, bed-rest, etc.). If you are missing any of this important information, it could make it much more difficult for your attorney to win your case. Though you will be tempted to take the first settlement offer that comes, if your attorney advises against it, listen to them.