The journey of healing from an accidental or intentional injury can be filled with stress, uncertainty, and complexities. On top of this, you'll be forced to make a lot of decisions that you've never before had to make – do you hire a personal injury lawyer? If so, which one? Do you take the settlement from the insurance company? Do you take it to trial? How do you calculate your damages? Having a lawyer on your side throughout the process is a good idea. He or she can help you through the entire process of a personal injury claim using his or her experience and the facts of your specific case as a trusted guide.
In this article, we'll go through the process of a personal injury claim and define key terms. Please call or text our injury lawyers at Impact Legal if you need advice on your accident case. You can reach us at (602) 345-1818, or fill out our convenient online contact form.
The Settlement Offer
A settlement is a legal resolution offered to end a dispute. The liable party, often through an insurance company, will make the settlement offer. Often car accident victims don't put as much significance on the settlement offer as they should. Unfortunately, due to lack of experience or desperation, many people take the first number the insurance company throws out, typically, leaving a lot of money on the table, which could go towards their physical and financial recoveries.
A lawyer will highly recommend that you take a good look at the injuries and financial situation that resulted from the incident before you accept a settlement. Be sure that the settlement will cover your current and future bills so that you can properly recover. Your lawyer will help you determine these calculations, and communicate and negotiate with the other side to attempt to come to a settlement you need and deserve.
Most cases reach a settlement and never have to go to trial. However, if an appropriate and fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may recommend that you take the case to court to let a judge or jury decide.
What Happens at Trial?
If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial where the court will review the facts of your case and decide the appropriate legal remedy. A trial can last months, depending on the facts of the case. Going to trial is risky for both sides. You may receive more money than your initial settlement offer(s), or the court may decide your case is worth a lot less. Expenses also increase if a case goes to trial. The process can be stressful and extremely unpredictable.
Personal Injury Case Timeline
Every case is unique, however, there is a general timeline that most personal injury cases follow. Misunderstanding this process and timeline leads many people to delay contacting a personal injury lawyer. This delay can be detrimental to your case, costing you a lot of money in the long run. At Impact Legal, we pride ourselves on being technologically savvy. As such, we offer video consultations and keep you up to date on your case from start to finish.
The typical timeline of a personal injury case includes:
- Free initial consultation with Impact Legal - Once you set this up by calling or texting us at (602) 345-1818, or filling out our online form, we will set up a time to review the facts of your case, review any related documentation, and advise you on the legal direction we think you should take. We pride ourselves on technological savvy and accessibility to all of our clients, so we do virtual consultations, too. Be sure to ask about virtual meetings if you'd prefer.
- Development of your legal strategy - Step 2 is all about due diligence. We'll collect all of the evidence, documentation, etc associated with your claim to build a strong strategy to get you the appropriate settlement.
- Settlement negotiations - Before we file a lawsuit, we'll compile necessary documents from the strategy we develop in step 2 and begin communication and negotiation with the insurance company to give them a chance to pay your financial damages without going to court. Usually, your injury lawyer will be able to secure an appropriate settlement for you during step 3. However, if the insurance company is being unreasonable or unfair, we will take it to step 4.
- Filing a lawsuit - In this step, we'll officially file your lawsuit to get you the best possible outcome.
- Discovery - In this step, we will request all evidence from the other side that may support your claim.
- Trial - Frequently, it doesn't get to this step, but if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached outside of court, your case will go to a judge and jury to decide.
Every case is different, and we will try our best to get it settled for you in the beginning steps. However, if need be, we will fight for you in court.
The First Step is a Free Personal Injury Consultation
Don't make the same mistake many have made – reaching out to an attorney too late in the process. This mistake has cost many people the compensation they deserve and need to get their lives back on track. At Impact Legal, our personal injury lawyers will fight to get you the best outcome. Call or text to set up your free initial consultation today at (602) 345-1818 to get your personal injury claim process started on the right note.