If you get injured in a car accident, you’ll probably suffer some serious injuries. It really doesn’t matter what type of accident you’re in, chances are, you’ll suffer damages. If someone else is responsible for your accident, they should be held accountable. Car accident lawyers in Douglasville help make sure this happens.
Despite what most people think, personal injury claims are settled out of court. In fact, over 90% of all personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom. Television dramas and movies make it appear that most cases are tried before a jury in a court of law. This simply isn’t the case.
Trials are very expensive and time consuming. Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant prefer to settle a case rather than going to court. It’s faster and cheaper for everyone. That’s why your Douglasville car accident lawyer will work so hard to settle your case. They’ll negotiate with the insurance adjuster to get a settlement that covers all of your damages.
Some cases, unfortunately, cannot be settled. If there are serious disputes about who caused the accident, it may have to go to trial. Or, if the insurance company is adamant about not paying your claim, your lawyer will have no choice but go to court. This can take months or even years. It really depends on the facts of your case.
What are the Major Stages of a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Immediately after your car accident, you’ll have to file an insurance claim. This should be done within a few days of your accident. Once the insurance company receives it, they’ll review your claim and make a decision as to whether or not they’ll pay it.
If your claim is approved, you’ll get your insurance check within a week or two. If your claim is denied, your Douglasville car accident attorney will file an appeal on your behalf. They’ll also reach out to the insurance adjuster to try to negotiate a settlement of your claim. If this doesn’t work, your lawyer will have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit.
It usually takes a month or two to decide if a lawsuit is necessary. Once it’s filed, the defendant has about thirty (30) days to respond. Typically, they’ll file something called an answer. This starts the wheels of justice in motion.
Once the suit is filed, you can start collecting evidence and conducting discovery. This is where the two attorneys share the information they have on the case. This is usually when settlement negotiations start. Your attorney, and the attorney for the other driver, will go back and forth for weeks or even months. If they can’t come up with a fair settlement, your case will be scheduled for trial.
Why Do So Many Cases Settle?
As mentioned earlier, most cases settle because trials are expensive and time consuming. However, they also create the risk that you will lose. Nobody wants to lose in court. This is bad for both the defendant and the plaintiff.
If the plaintiff loses, they get no damages. If the defendant loses, the plaintiff may spend years trying to collect their damages. This can be a no-win situation. It’s in everyone’s best interest to settle the matter as quickly as possible.
If, for some reason, your case doesn’t settle, the court will try to get you to settle. They’ll order you and the defendant to attend mediation. This is a last-ditch effort to work out a resolution before trial. If this doesn’t work, trial will be scheduled. The time between when your case is filed and when you go to trial is usually about nine months. However, it can be much longer.
Some of the things that can drag your trial out longer than a year include:
- The court docket is backlogged
- The defendant’s lawyer files motions to dismiss your case or exclude evidence
- The court may need to wait several months to assign a jury
- The lawyers may have legitimate scheduling conflicts
- The court may postpone the trial several times for their own reasons
This is why most lawyers end up working out a settlement at some point before trial.
Contact the Experienced Car Accident Lawyers in Douglasville at John B. Jackson
If you’ve been injured in an accident, you should call the experienced car accident lawyers in Douglasville at the Law Office of John B. Jackson. They can review your case and try to get your claim paid. They can also negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.