Most Cases are Settled Out of Court.
The vast majority of injury cases are settled without having to go to trial or even filing a lawsuit. Settlement avoids the expense, time and stress of litigation. To get the best settlement, however, you need to show the other side that the case will be handled professionally if it does go to court. An attorney experienced in litigation gives you that advantage.
Your Case can be Settled Even After Filing a Lawsuit.
Before taking a case to trial, we usually attempt alternative dispute resolution. This can include mediation, where a professional negotiator acts as a go-between to help the parties settle, and arbitration, where a judge or impartial attorney decides the case using less formal methods than in the courtroom. We strongly support both of these methods in appropriate cases.
If You Were Partly at Fault for an Accident, Your Compensation Will Be Reduced.
You can still recover damages if you were partly at fault for an accident, but your recovery will be reduced by your share of the blame. Through thorough investigation and presentation of your case, a skilled injury attorney can help minimize your share of fault.
If the At-Fault Party Has No Insurance, You May Be Able to Get Compensation From Your Own Insurance Company.
Your own auto insurance may contain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which provides the same compensation you would have received from the at-fault driver's insurance. Also, if the at-fault driver has insurance but your damages exceed the limits of the policy, your uninsured/underinsured coverage makes up the difference, up to the limits of your policy. You should be aware, however, that your insurance company will defend the uninsured/underinsured motorist claim just as an at-fault driver's insurer would do. We frequently represent people in claims against their own insurance companies.
You Can Do a Lot to Help Your Own Case.
Many people damage their own cases without realizing it. You can take some simple precautions to avoid this:
Keep in mind that the at-fault person's insurance company may investigate you to determine the extent of your injuries. Such investigations can include surveillance and videotaping of you, as well as interviews of your neighbors and co-workers.
Don't discuss your case with anyone other than your attorneys, your doctors and your immediate family. Your statements may be distorted or taken out of context.
Consult with your attorney before discussing the legal aspects of your case with your doctors. Otherwise, inaccurate or misleading information about your claim may end up in your medical records.
Sign nothing dealing with your claim until you have discussed it with your attorney.
Keep careful track of any out-of-pocket expenses you incur, such as costs for medication, household help, or transportation to and from treatment. Getting repaid for these expenses is difficult unless they are carefully documented.
Having an Attorney on Your Side Can Help Your Case in Many Ways.
Even if your case will never go to court, an attorney can take the load off you and your family in dealing with the insurance companies and improve your chances of a fair settlement. An attorney's services include such things as:
Pinning down the facts of your accident so disputes about fault can be handled up front. Advising you on whether you should make statements, sign documents or attend medical evaluations that could affect your case.
Obtaining your medical records and consulting with your doctors so your injuries are properly assessed as your case progresses.
When necessary, having your case reviewed by experts, such as vocational rehabilitation counselors, safety engineers or medical specialists, to help prove fault or the extent of your damages.
Advising you of the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit or going to court.
Taking the burden of dealing with insurance and legal concerns off you and your family so you can concentrate on healing from your injuries.
ALL consultations are FREE. ALL fees contingent.