If I File a Personal Injury Claim, Will I Have to Go to Trial?
Navigating complicated legal proceedings is challenging enough when you’re in perfect health. The process can be even more arduous if you’re dealing with serious injuries. For this reason, many people choose to put off legal action until their injuries have healed—but this often proves to be a critical mistake.
It is likely that valuable evidence to strengthen your claim will be time-sensitive, so your attorney will want to begin the investigation right away. Also, there are steps you must take over the days and weeks that follow an accident in order to prevent disputes. Having a lawyer by your side from day one can help you avoid costly errors and oversights.
If you’re concerned about going to trial, we have good news; more than 90 percent of personal injury cases do not go all the way to trial. However, the best attorneys will not hesitate to proceed to trial if it is in your best interests to do so. This might happen if a dispute arises that cannot be resolved through negotiations between the attorneys on either side, discovery, or alternative dispute resolution.
Here are a few common disputes that might send a personal injury case to the latter stages of litigation:
1. You Were Liable for the Accident
Did you share fault for the accident? Even if you’re certain that the defendant was entirely liable, that doesn’t mean the insurance company will agree. If the defense tries to argue that you were responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, a dispute might arise that sends your case to litigation.
2. You Failed to Mitigate Damages
Did your own negligence contribute to your damages? For example, did you put off the medical evaluation, miss doctor’s appointments, or ignore your doctor’s orders? If so, the insurance company might assert that you have failed to mitigate your damages.
3. The Damages Being Sought Are Unreasonable
There are a number of reasons why an insurance company might refuse to pay a fair settlement. This could happen, for example, if you will require ongoing medical care but the insurer disputes the amount of time it will take for you to recover or disagrees with the anticipated cost of care. Such disagreements have the potential to send a case all the way to trial.
4. The Damages Were Not Caused by the Tort
This dispute commonly arises when a plaintiff had a preexisting medical condition that was exacerbated by an accident. You won’t be able to obtain compensation for medical bills and other costs that would have accrued regardless of the tort; however, you can seek compensation for the exacerbation of a preexisting medical condition.
Speak with a Rapid City Personal Injury Attorney Today
At Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that unanticipated injuries can take. We will do everything in our power to help you obtain fair compensation without filing a lawsuit; however, we will relish the opportunity to enter litigation if it is in your best interests to do so.
Call (605) 777-7466 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Rapid City.