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Should I go to court to resolve an accident injury claim?

September 16, 2017

If you’ve had an accident, you’re going to face a lot of bills in terms of medical care and repairs to your vehicle, suffer loss of wages and so on. Obviously, if the accident happened due to the negligence of another person, you would want them to compensate you for your losses. Experienced Orlando car accident lawyers like Bryan W Crews can help you negotiate or file a suit on your behalf if required.

A majority of personal injury and car accident cases are settled out of court well before the date set for the trial. Most insurance claims are also resolved without having to go to court. That is not to say that you shouldn’t ever think of taking the case to court and allowing the judge to make a decision. Every case is different and both methods have their merits and demerits. The crucial question is whether going to trial is a risk worth taking. So let’s take a look at both the options available to you:

Settling Out of Court

Look at the advantages this method offers:

  • Quick receipt of compensation
  • Minimize attorney fees
  • Eliminate need for multiple court appearances
  • Avoid unpleasant surprises stemming from unpredictable jury decisions

So what would you need to do to settle an injury claim? What are the likely steps involved?

First of all you need to gather all the possible evidence you can get, like your complete medical records from your healthcare provider; this can take several weeks and you may need to pay a fee. If you’ve missed work, then you need to request records from your employer to prove that. You should be able to show your salary before the injury, the typical hours you worked, and the days you missed because of the injury. You may also need to collect eyewitness accounts, photographs of the scene of the accident and so on.

Once you have all of the records and evidence, you will need to draft a concise, well written demand letter, chronologically listing all the events that occurred from the day of the accident and thereafter. You will need to describe your injury in detail, the circumstances surrounding the accident, provide records and statements collected, money spent on medical treatment and so on. You should then mail this letter to the at-fault party, their insurance provider or lawyer.

Once the other party has received your letter and examined the records, they will call you for negotiations. Here you need to be very careful; they are sure to have a seasoned attorney on their side. It makes sense for you to engage the services of an injury lawyer in Orlando to protect your interests.

Going to Court

In certain cases, settlement may not be advisable; this could be because the other party didn’t respond to your demand letter or the settlement offer was very poor. You can always represent yourself, but it would be prudent to get an experienced accident attorney in Orlando, who is familiar with the legal angles and skilled in the art of courtroom tactics, to represent you in court.

The steps involved are filing a lawsuit in court legally and serving a complaint on the at-fault party via a process server or law enforcement officer. The other party has to respond within a specific time.

Next is the process of discovery where you and the other party request information from each other through questionnaires. You can also request the defendant to provide documents and schedule depositions (where individuals are compelled to testify at a certain time and it’s recorded)

Then you come to the last step: the trial. This is when a judge or jury will hear evidence in your case and make a decision. Preparation and the actual trial can take a lot of your time and money.

However, you need to remember that the case can be settled out of court even when the trial is going on. At any point in the case, before a verdict is entered, you can settle your case provided you get a reasonable offer.

The decision whether to settle or go all the way to a trial has to be taken after considering all aspects of each individual case. It is highly recommended that you seek the counsel of reputed Orlando accident attorneys like Bryan W Crews so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

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