The truth is that many personal injury cases are resolved early on without need to go to trial. Still, when an insurance company fails to provide you with a fair and just settlement, you and your attorney may seek other recourse.
Insurance companies will attempt to pay out as little as possible when resolving an injury claim. When an individual pursues compensation from an insurance company without the aid of an attorney, the insurance company may see the lack of representation as an opportunity to low ball the injured victim as there is no immediate risk of trial or legal recourse.
By hiring a competent attorney who has a reputation of achieving large verdicts in the courtroom, you are sending a message to the insurer. It will provide the insurance company with extra incentive to offer a fair settlement the first time.
If that first offer is not fair, an experienced personal attorney will have the resources and the knowledge to negotiate with the insurance company in pursuit of a better offer.
When settlement discussions begin will depend on the size and complexity of a case. Larger cases may progress further before negotiations begin as neither side wants to appear overeager or desperate to resolve a matter.
After your personal injury case has been filed, your attorney and the defense will begin pretrial investigations. This is known as the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys will begin gathering evidence and may solicit written answers from the opposition, known as interrogatories, or request sworn testimony under oath, known as depositions.
Keep in mind that it is rare for insurance companies to engage in serious settlement negotiations before completing the discovery process.
In larger, more complex cases, such as on the job accidents or commercial trucking accidents, defense attorneys may wait for the plaintiff’s attorney to identify their expert witnesses before discussing settlement amounts. This is because expert witnesses can make or break a case. If a personal injury attorney is able to obtain expert witnesses who are knowledgeable and capable of providing compelling testimony, chances are the attorney has done the work necessary to make a valid case during trial.
Another common way to resolve a personal injury case outside of court is through arbitration. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the plaintiff and defendant agree to be bound by a decision handed down by impartial adjudicators called arbitrators.
Unlike litigation, where parties are assigned a judge, arbitration allows parties to choose their own tribunal and is often faster than an in-court trial. Additionally, defendants may seek an arbitral proceeding as arbitral awards are generally non-public and can be made confidential if both parties agree to it.
Other times, arbitral proceedings may be required as part of an ancillary agreement. That is, the fine print of a consumer on employee agreement states that they have agreed to mandatory binding pre-dispute arbitration by purchasing a product or taking a job. If arbitration is mandatory and binding, it means the parties have waived their rights to have a judge or jury decide their case.
If your case goes to trial, expect your attorney to fight for you. If you have hired a competent attorney, then they would have already gathered the evidence and witness testimony to prove your claim before a jury or judge.
Your attorney will also coach you on court room procedures and how to handle questioning and cross-examination.
Going to trial can feel intimidating; however, with the right attorney on your side, you can at least feel well prepared and confident that your best interests will be represented. Thomas J. Henry has been successfully trying cases against large trucking companies for the past 30 years and has built a reputation by securing record-breaking jury verdicts.
With a team of more than 100 attorneys ready to represent injured clients at a moment’s notice, we have the money and the resources to fight and win against even the largest trucking companies.
Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.