Does The Threat Of Litigation Enhance The Likelihood Of A Larger Settlement?

I prepare every case like it is going to trial. That does not mean that I am not reasonable when it comes to the stage of the case where we are talking about settlement. But you always have to be prepared for trial in that event that it happens, so you want to have your witnesses, you want to have your evidence, you want to have your experts, all sort of onboard in the case if the case does go to trial. The only time that I like to take the risk of going to trial is if we cannot reach a settlement. If the insurance company or the defendant I feel is being unreasonable as far as the value of the case and the liability issues that are involved in the case.

Does Having An Attorney Involved Make Insurance Companies Evaluate A Claim Differently?

Generally, people that do not have an attorney get taken advantage of in the claims’ process. I see people come in and they really do not know what their claim is worth and they may get some nominal offer from the insurance company that they are about to accept before they come and see me and then they meet with me and they learn in actuality what their actual case is worth and they realize that they are being taken advantage of by the insurance company. So, I do not think it is a very good idea for anybody to go it alone against an insurance company.

How Do Your Trial And Negotiation Skills Impact A Personal Injury Case?

I always prepare a case like it is going to trial, so you want to present, sometimes, as much as you can to the insurance company during the claims process and during negotiation process as far as what witnesses will say, what experts will say, what the medical records will show. All those factors come into play when you are negotiating a settlement on a case.

What Factors May Cause A Personal Injury Case To End Up In Litigation?

Some of my cases will settle in the claims process that means not going to a full litigation of filed lawsuit. If the case is relatively small or the insurance company is reasonable, we can settle a case without having to go to litigation. On a larger case and more involved cases, they almost all go to litigation. Not all go to trial but almost all of those types of cases do go to litigation. Now, that does not mean we cannot settle a case in the claim’s process and the ultimate decision to settle a case is the client’s, not mine. So, if the client is happy with the settlement, I am all for accepting the settlements prior to litigation. If they are not, we are perfectly willing and able to file the case and proceed to trial.

What Can I Expect If My Case Does End Up Going To Trial?

Once a case is set up for a trial, we need to get all the evidence and the witnesses and the experts onboard with the case and speak to them and check their availability. We may have to send out subpoenas for medical records, we may have to send out subpoenas for witnesses and make sure that we can put it all together for the trial. The timeline takes a few months to prepare for a trial to get everything together. Once the trial starts, it could last anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks generally on these types of cases.

How Does Going To Trial Affect The Overall Costs Of The Personal Injury Process?

When you go to trial, you have to present or be prepared to present all of your witnesses and evidence to the jury. Now, that is obviously the plaintiff, it might be a spouse of the plaintiff or brother, sister, something like that, a friend that was with somebody during, say, a car accident. But you also have to be able to present your expert witnesses if you have an expert witness, and that means engaging the expert witness retaining them to go over the case and to present an expert opinion in front of the jury. The other thing that you have to do is prepare for the medical testimony.

You have to have doctors come in and testify as to the condition, the medical condition of the plaintiff as it results to the ramifications of the accident. Paying the experts and paying the medical providers to come in to testify generally cost some money, which would generally be advanced by my office but it could affect the net recovery that the plaintiff receives depending on the amount of settlement or a verdict that you get once the verdict for settlement is reached.

How Long Does It Take To Receive Funds After A Personal Injury Claim Has Been Settled?

Once the settlement is reached between the parties, certain documents will go out and get distributed between the parties and they will sign it. Once those documents get distributed, the defendant generally has 20 days to make the payment to my office. The payment goes into my escrow account, and then from the escrow account, the funds are distributed to my office and to the client and whoever else the plaintiff agrees upon saying such as the medical provider or other witnesses, experts, things like that.

What Are Some Tips That You Would Give To Potential Clients To Achieve The Best Possible Outcome In Their Personal Injury Claim?

The best way to assist your attorney in your case is, 1) be knowledgeable about what happened in the case and provide all evidence, pictures, medical records that pertain to the case to the attorney. Also, you want to make your appointments. You do not want to miss deposition dates, you do not want to miss doctor’s appointments, and you want to be honest with your attorney about what happened in the incident whether it was good or bad. You do not want to come out and have something not be truthful when you come to trial or when you come to a deposition stage of a case.

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