After an accident, injury victims may often question whether they should file a lawsuit to recover compensation for their damages. While a lawsuit may result in a favorable outcome, there are several factors that should be considered before taking a claim to court.
You should consider discussing your case with one of our injury lawyers in Fort Worth, TX. One of our attorneys can discuss all potential legal options to help you decide what to do. There can be advantages to going to court, but it may not always be the best, most efficient way to recover the compensation you need.
The consultation is free, and there is no obligation to take legal action. If you choose to work with us, we do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if you do.
The Process of Seeking Injury Compensation
Although personal injury cases are all different, the process of filing a claim is generally the same. After the accident, the injury victim is responsible for reporting the accident, seeking medical attention, and filing a claim with the liable insurance company, whether the insurance policy covers a car, business, or another type of property.
Once the claim is filed and your injuries are stabilized, your attorney should draft what is called a demand letter, which states the nature of your claim and the demand for the liable party to pay damages, including pain and suffering.
From there, the insurer has the option to refuse or pay what is being demanded.
Have You Tried Negotiating a Settlement?
Generally, the insurance company will refuse to meet your initial demands but will make a counteroffer. Unfortunately, that counteroffer is usually well below the true value of your claim.
When you receive the lowball offer, you can choose to reply with another demand in hopes of negotiating a recovery that meets your needs and satisfies the insurance company.
The negotiation process may go on until an agreement is reached. Once the settlement is finalized, you cannot file a lawsuit against the liable party. That is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney to help you fight for the full value of your claim when negotiating a settlement.
Do You Know All Your Options?
Sometimes, negotiations break down between the injury victim and the insurer, often because the insurance company denies liability or refuses to make a reasonable offer. When this happens, you may think filing a lawsuit is the only way to move the case forward. Fortunately, that is not always true.
One way to resolve a dispute without a lawsuit is through the process of mediation. This is when an objective third party analyzes the case and negotiates with both sides to attempt to reach an agreement. Sometimes, a judge may order mediation before a case can be tried in court.
Another popular alternative dispute resolution process is arbitration. This process works much like a court hearing, except the arbitrator is the judge and jury.
There are other options that might be available to you, depending on the facts of your case. It would be in your best interest to speak to an attorney to learn all your legal options.
Pros and Cons of Going to Court
First, it is important to consider the likelihood that your lawsuit will make it to court. It can take a year or more for a case to be heard by a jury, which means there will likely be plenty of time to try to settle the case before trial or before the jury begins to deliberate.
It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of going to court. The biggest risk is the jury not awarding compensation, forcing you to pay outstanding medical bills out of your own pocket. On the other hand, juries often award more than you may receive from a settlement. That is one of the main reasons insurance companies would rather have injury victims settle.
Have You Talked to a Lawyer? Call Us Today
If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit after suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should strongly consider speaking to one of our knowledgeable attorneys who may be able to provide legal advice to help maximize your compensation.
Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping injury victims recover millions in compensation both in the courtroom and through settlement negotiations.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if we win the case.
Call today for a free consultation: (817) 920-9000.